Durban - As the date for the ANC elective conference in KwaZulu-Natal draws closer, campaigners for Nomusa Dube-Ncube, who will challenge Sihle Zikalala for the position of provincial chairperson, say they are encouraged by the positive response across the province.
Several ANC branches have raised the names of the two as their preferred candidates for the top position.
Zikalala’s chances of retaining the position were bolstered when another branch from his birthplace of Ndwedwe nominated him this weekend with other meetings taking place yesterday.
Dube-Ncube chief lobbyist Wiseman Ngobese said their campaign was getting endorsed from different parts of the province, with many expressing hope that she would lead the ruling party’s revival.
“We have been very focused and have sought to engage with branches because we understand their importance. After all, those who will attend the provincial conference will be representing branches and so it is important to talk to them,” said Ngobese.
He said Dube-Ncube’s track record as an ANC member of the provincial legislature and her work as Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC over the past few years had demonstrated her ability to lead and to handle very difficult tasks.
“That is why even figures within the traditional leadership hold her in high regard and it is one of the reasons we believe she is an ideal candidate to lead, and the many branches that we have engaged attest to that,” Ngobese insisted.
As the date draws closer, several names and slates have emerged, including Peggy Nkonyeni and businessman Sandile Zungu who are also suggested as candidates to lead the ruling party in the province.
According to Ngobese, while they had noted some of the slates doing the rounds for the province’s top five, their campaign was based purely on the sentiments from branches across the province.
“Comrade Nomusa is not going to say she prefers this comrade over the other. We are not discussing slates, and it is something that we have sought to avoid.
“We are listening to what branches say should be the makeup of the leadership collective,” he said.
ANC provincial spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela said the provincial office was getting regular updates on the branch general meetings and those who had been nominated.
It is understood that more than 100 branches had now sat and made their choices known, but Ntombela would not indicate whether only two names for provincial chairperson had emerged.
“The process of nominations continues and it is something that the provincial office is closely monitoring as we get ready for the conference,” said the spokesperson before attending the provincial working committee meeting yesterday.
The provincial conference is set for the second weekend of July and it is expected to be held in Durban.