Final figures for the number of people in each provincial delegation to attend its national conference in December have been announced by the ANC.
Published by Daily News: October 3 2012
President Jacob Zuma’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal will have the biggest delegation – with 974 members – among 4 500 voting delegates.
The province’s huge growth in membership – swelling by 86 000 over six months – and a sharp decline in membership in the Eastern Cape, where there is a push for leadership change, have been the subject of speculation and comment.
The Eastern Cape is to have 676 voting delegates.
Limpopo, where the ANC membership grew from 114 385 in January to 161 868 in June, will have the third-biggest provincial delegation, with 574 members.
Gauteng will have 500 voting delegates, Mpumalanga 467, the Free State 324, North West 234, the Western Cape 178 and the Northern Cape 176.
ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said 91.2 percent of the 4 500 delegates would be from branches, and the remaining 8.8 percent would include provincial leaders, others from the provinces and members of the party’s leagues.
Secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and provincial leaders met on Tuesday to decide how 416 delegates – part of the 4 500 – would be split among the provinces. Friday’s national executive committee meeting could not decide on a formula.
The ANC Women’s League, Youth League and Veterans’ League are each to send 45 delegates.
National executive committee members are to account for 82 voting delegates, while each of the nine provincial executive committees will send 20.
Analysts suggested on Tuesday that KZN’s increased membership had boosted Zuma’s re-election campaign – but cautioned that branch nomination processes would be important to watch.
Professor Steven Friedman, director for the Centre of Democracy at the University of Johannesburg, said the numbers reduced the possibility of Zuma’s being challenged for leadership of the party.
Friedman noted that while Limpopo provincial chairman and Premier Cassel Mathale openly supported leadership change, his own re-election as provincial leader had been contested by provincial secretary Joe Phaahla, who had lost by only a small margin.
“It was literally 50-50 [in Limpopo].”
Motlanthe would not run for office unless he was confident he had a groundswell of support behind him, Friedman said.