Ramaphosa consolidates control over ANC with clean sweep in national working committee

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The ANC has elected a national working committee (NWC) dominated by allies of party president Cyril Ramaphosa at its first national executive committee (NEC) meeting this year.

The influential NWC — which effectively runs the governing party — consists of the top seven officials and 20 additional members, drawn from the 80-member NEC, which was elected at the party’s national conference in December.

The outcome is a huge win for Ramaphosa — and a blow to his opponents in the party — and a further consolidation of his power in the ANC going into the national and general elections next year.

Human Settlements Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi, with 57 votes, topped the NWC list, followed by Environment Minister Barbara Creecy (54 votes), Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana (54 votes) and MP Tina Joemat-Pettersson (53 votes).

The deputy minister in the presidency responsible for state security, Zizi Kodwa, also took 53 votes, as did the deputy water and sanitation minister, David Mahlobo, parliamentary chief whip Pemmy Majodina, and Justice Minister Ronald Lamola.

Three Ramaphosa allies from KwaZulu-Natal — Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu, MPL Mdumiseni Ntuli and Peggy Nkonyeni, the province’s finance MEC — also made the NWC list.

The ANC Youth League national task team coordinator, Nonceba Mhlauli, secured 19 votes and was placed 19th on the NWC list, followed by Communications Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, who also secured 19 votes.

None of the presidential hopefuls ahead of the ANC conference — Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, Zweli Mkhize and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma — made the NWC.

The outcome effectively signals the end of their political influence in the party, which was crippled by running battles between their so-called radical economic transformation (RET) faction in the ANC during Ramaphosa’s first term of office.

Only Nomvula Mokonyane, who was elected as first deputy secretary general, and deputy president Paul Mashatile made the top seven from their slate in December.

Mokonyane also failed to make it to the top 20 of the NWC, a surprising outcome given her influence in the party thus far and a clear indication of the political direction the ANC will take ahead of 2024.

Supporters of Mashatile — who successfully stood against Lamola and Eastern Cape chairperson Oscar Mabuyane to secure the post — are understood to be unhappy about the outcome, which leaves him isolated in a Ramaphosa-dominated NWC.

“This is an even more CR NWC than the last one,” said one NEC member who asked not to be named. “Paul’s people are pissed off.”

The clean sweep by Ramaphosa’s supporters also gives the president’s renewal and reform agenda a significant boost going into the two-day NEC lekgotla at which the party will discuss cabinet changes, the fate of Eskom and other key issues.

It also comes on the heels of gains by his supporters in the recent Free State conference and the public backing for Ramaphosa last week by the leadership of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, his fiercest critics going into the December elective meet.

The lekgotla is also expected to discuss the offer to resign by deputy president David Mabuza to make way for the movement of Mashatile into government.

Mabuza’s office said on Friday that he had made the offer to allow the ANC to align its structures with those of the state — a clear attempt to ensure that Ramaphosa does follow ANC protocol and appoints Mashatile. 

The presidency has declined to comment on the resignation offer, saying that Ramaphosa will announce any changes to his cabinet at the appropriate time.

Full national working committee list

1. Mmamoloko Kubayi; 57 votes

2. Barbara Creecy; 54 votes

3. Enoch Godongwana; 54 votes

4. Tina Joemat-Pettersson; 53 votes

5.  Zizi Kodwa; 53 votes

6. Ronald Lamola; 53 votes

7. David Mahlobo; 53 votes

8. Pemmy Majodina; 53 votes

9. Thandi Modise; 50 votes

10. Sibongile Besani; 49 votes

11. Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams; 48 votes

12. Mdu Ntuli; 46 votes

13. Angie Motshekga; 46 votes

14. Senzo Mchunu; 45 votes

15. Mondli Gungubele; 42 votes

16. Mdu Manana; 42 votes

17. Peggy Nkonyeni; 40 votes

18. Thembi Nkadimeng; 35 votes

19. Nonceba Mhlauli; 19 votes20. Khumbudzo Ntshavheni; 19 votes

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