Isiphithiphithi in ANC list processes as party’s old guard loses favour

Three senior ANC cabinet ministers will be forced into retirement after the forthcoming 2024 general elections if the unfolding ANC list processes are anything to go by.

International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor, Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan against whom age is a factor, do not appear on many of the circulating lists as well as in the fresh consolidated national-to-national list as the governing party’s “generational mix” brigade moves in to infuse young blood.

It will be a double whammy for Pandor and Gordhan as they have already missed the ANC national executive committee (NEC) train at the governing party’s national elective conference at Nasrec, Johannesburg in December last year.

But Luthuli House could still throw them a lifeline by vetoing the branches and co-opt ing them for racial, gender and generational mix representations.

In the same list process, Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, appears to be in the good books of branches.

The ANC provincial chair is topping all the lists doing the rounds in branches in the province of gold.

As some well-known names appear nowhere on the lists, fresh newcomers such as NEC members Nonceba Mhlauli and Zuko Godlimpi, seem to be the branch’s favourites and blue-eyed young leaders. Thesphithiphithi (melee) is exacerbated by the dozens of unknown branch ordinary members that want in on the lists and are lobbying hard.

It is for this reason that some seasoned ANC leaders have criticised the process as a mere popularity contest that could flood law-making structures with quantity instead of quality.

“It is open season, and everyone is fancying their chances because the bar is so low,” said a party leader, who asked not to be named because they are not authorised to speak to the media.

ANC electoral committee secretary Livhuwani Matsila said they would vet those who were nominated to get the best of the best on the final list.

Said Matsila: “The main purpose of the rules is to ensure that we nominate candidates that have the skills and experience to go to parliament. The candidates who are being nominated are going to be appointed as ministers and members of executive councils in various provinces, so it is important and critical that when we select those candidates, we pass them through the eye of the needle to make sure that they are fit for purpose.”

An ANC leader in Gauteng said it was disappointing that there was overzealousness from all ANC members to make the coveted lists when there is no guarantee of retaining an outright majority in Gauteng.

The insider said the ambitions of individuals for personal political elevation have the potential to divert the ANC in Gauteng from the tough task of campaigning for outright victory come next year’s polls.

“There are lists all over with all types of names, but I cannot help but wonder if, with so much interest in making the list, people want to make the list to lead where?” asked the informant.

“It is worse here in Gauteng, where we already have a mere 37 seats of the 73, with projections to get even less next year. It is therefore surprising that people are obsessed with making lists instead of working for ANC’s victory.”

Matsila said the electoral committee rules would block rogues and chance-takers from making the final list.

“This is a very serious process that is entrusted to the branches of the ANC to select candidates to go to parliament and provincial legislatures.”

Despite the unusual and extraordinary excitement of many ANC members to make the list, the national-to-national final list will comprise 200 names.

The province-to-national lists will have between five and 50 names, and the province-to-province list will have a minimum of 30 and a maximum of 50.

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