Who to watch at the ANC policy conference

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma ANC NEC member and Home Affairs Minister Her name appears on the latest “Anything But Zuma” slate as a possible deputy president candidate. She hardly speaks publicly about ANC issues, but is a respected leader known for her hard work and gender activism

Zwelinzima Vavi Cosatu’s general secretary With Cosatu President Sdumo Dlamini already backing president Jacob Zuma’s second term, the anti-Zuma faction is pinning its hopes on Vavi to rally workers’ support in their favour. He’s a fierce critic of the ANC leadership on corruption and unemployment and supports “economic freedom” which includes the nationalisation of mines

Ngoako Ramatlhodi ANC NEC member Ramatlhodi has become Zuma’s right-hand-man on selling the second transition policy discussion document. He’s been criss crossing the country advocating support for this document that has divided the party and is expected to cause robust discussions at the policy conference

Enoch Godongwana ANC economic transformation committee Godongwana at the national general council in 2010 famously admitted he did not pay enough attention to the nationalization debate, thus allowing Malema to spin it out of control. This conference will be his chance to get things back on track

Angie Motshekga ANC Women’s League president and Basic Education Minister The ANC Women’s League wants to see the ANC policies made more women-friendly and prostitution decriminalised

Sdumo Dlamini Cosatu president Dlamini is a supporter of president Zuma’s bid for a second term as ANC president. But the trade union federation is not completely sold on this idea, and discussion about the youth wage subsidy at the policy conference should exaggerate these differences

Paul Mashatile Arts minister and Gauteng ANC chairperson Mashatile is seen as a kingmaker, with his support a presidential candidate can go far. He has the small but well-moneyed Gauteng province on his side, but he comes with a price. He wants a job on the top six of the ANC

Tokyo Sexwale Human Settlements Minister and contender for the throne Sexwale will use this conference to gauge support for the “Anything but Zuma” campaign. He has taken a beating from Zuma calling him the “money candidate” so he’ll , need to prove he is more than just the ANC’s ATM Jeff Radebe Justice Minister and head of policy Radebe is seen as Zuma’s lieutenant on the policy and legal side, but has done a less-than-stellar job on both. Policy proposals like the much-vaunted second transition and nationalisation are set to divide the policy conference but his job will be mostly to make sure the conference does not descend into chaos like it did in Durban, during the National General Council

Fikile Mbalula ANC NEC member and Sport Minister Mbalula is the face of the ANC Youth League’s call for younger leaders to be elected to the ANC’s top structures. Already tipped to challenge Gwede Mantashe as secretary-general, Mbalula has been vocal in his support for nationalisation and generational mix, the youth league’s demands

Blade Nzimande SACP general secretary and Higher Education Minister Cheerleader-in-chief for Zuma is Nzimande, who is hoping to make his mark at the policy conference with policy discussions that are already “littered with Marxist jargon” , as deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe put it

Thandi Modise ANC deputy secretary-general and North West premier Modise brings to the anti-Zuma campaign the credibility associated with the party’s veterans. The deputy secretary-general is no longer in Zuma’s camp following her apparent opposing view to disciplinary measures against expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema. She’s been urging the youth to fight for economic freedom and generational mix

Gwede Mantashe Secretary-general of the ANC, SACP chairperson Mantashe is in a tight spot. He needs to be the paragon of neutrality because he’s the “CEO of the ANC” but secretly he wants , to secure support for his re-election in Mangaung in December

Julius Malema Expelled ANC Youth League President (the rotten apple) Malema will not be allowed to attend the conference, but his policies will take centre stage

Jacob Zuma ANC president Zuma wants to be elected president for a second term. The support for policy proposals he and his lobbyists have been propagating will be a good measure of his popularity come Mangaung

Kgalema Motlanthe Deputy President As deputy president Motlanthe is in the pound seat. He has a seat at the top table but can position himself as better than the guy in charge. The conference will be an opportunity for him to convince ANC members he is presidential material

RUDI LOUW, Graphics24

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