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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Daily Maverick by Stephen Grootes.  Photo: Ihsaan Haffejee.]

With the results of the ANC’s nomination process now (slowly) becoming public through the provincial general council process, it is becoming clearer just how tight the race for the ANC’s leadership is going to be. While there have been indications of this earlier in the year, the numbers suggest that it could be closer then previously thought. Faced with such lack of certainty, the two leadership candidates, and their slates, need to start to consider their options. Their options? Fight to the death, compromise, or surrender. It now appears that this means the actual political process that will result in a leader emerging may only unfold on the floor of the conference, and involve intense discussions in Nasrec’s smoke-fulled backrooms.

So far, the provincial general council process is showing that the ANC provinces are in line with expectations about who they will support. Gauteng, the Western Cape, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape have pledged their support to Cyril Ramaphosa, the Free State and North West are going with Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma. Mpumalanga has 223 nominations for “Comrade Unity”, 123 for Dlamini Zuma and 117 for Ramaphosa. Limpopo is expected to back Ramaphosa strongly, and KwaZulu-Natal is expected to support Dlamini Zuma, although her margin there is difficult to predict. 2

And it is the margins of victory and defeat in each province that matter. There is likely to be some contestation over the final provincial figures, but in the end, and perhaps to oversimplify, the equation appears to boil down to this: with the strong support Ramaphosa gets from the provinces backing him, and the strong support Dlamini Zuma gets from those supporting her, it may come down to the KZN margin. Again, to oversimplify, if Ramaphosa gets around a third of the votes in KZN, or more, he is probably in a relatively safe position, but anything less than that will result in a Dlamini Zuma victory.

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South Africa at a Glance
56 500 000 (mid 2017 estimate)
4.6% y/y in November 2017 (CPI) & +5.1% y/y in November 2017 (PPI)
2% q/q for the 3rd quarter of 2017
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