The Candidates: 54th National Conference of the ANC

The 54th National Conference of the African National Congress (ANC)  is upon us; it will be held from the 16th to the 20th December 2017 in the Gauteng province of South Africa. The candidates list continues to grow as individuals fancy themselves as the successors to incumbent President Jacob Zuma in the leadership of Africa’s oldest liberation movement.

Cyril Ramaphosa remains the likely successor to incumbent President Jacob Zuma with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma being second most likely due to the endorsement by the incumbent.  It is not farfetched to think that this is a two horse race with the other candidates serving as distractions who may very well fall by the wayside before the conference is held. Upon falling by the wayside the would probably endorse one of these two candidates.

It is worth noting that former South African President Kgalema Motlanthe comes in with an off chance to surprise – a dark horse if you will. This is perhaps because he may be viewed as neutral yet capable having briefly led the country following the ousting of former ANC  and South African President Thabo Mbeki.

Baleka Mbete is the forth most likely candidate; she has been eying the position for years and has been vocal about the next ANC president being a woman. This may lead to her getting the woman vote.

As for the rest of the candidates; they will serve to dilute the votes and swing the ANC presidency in one direction or another. Should any one of them emerge victorious it would an absolute shock and a complete upset.

The list of the candidates is as follows:


  • Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy President of South Africa
  • Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, former Chairperson of the African Union (2012-2017), Minister of Health (1994-1999), Minister of Foreign Affairs (1999-2009), Minister of Home Affairs (2009-2012).[6]
  • Mathews Phosa, former Treasurer General of the ANC and Premier of Mpumalanga.[7] [8]
  • Baleka Mbete, Speaker of the National Assembly, (2004-2008),(2014- ), Deputy President of South Africa (2008-2009)
  • Kgalema Motlanthe, President of South Africa (2008-2009), Deputy President of South Africa (2009-2014). Presidential candidate in 2012.
  • Jeff Radebe, Minister in the Presidency (2014- ), Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development (2009–2014), Minister of Transport (2004-2009, Minister of Public Enterprises (1999-2004), Minister of Public Works (1994-1999)[11]
  • David Mabuza, Premier of Mpumalanga Province.
  • Zweli Mkhize, Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Province (2009-2013) and Treasurer-General of the ANC (2012- )
  • Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of Human Settlements (2014 – ), Minister of Public Service and Administration (2012-2014), Minister of Defence and Military Veterans (2009-2012), Minister of Housing (2004-2009), Minister of Intelligence 2001-2004



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