On Friday ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe released the number of branch delegates from each province that will be allowed to attend the elective conference in December. The list is revealing (including a maths mistake: it states the total delegates as 4 723, but the given numbers add up to 4 731…?!). Branch delegates make up 90% of the conference, with the remaining 10% coming from other ANC structures like the leagues.
With 68 days to go to the first day of the conference a number of trends emerge from the numbers.
First of all, it will be a much bigger conference, consisting of more than 5 250 delegates, 620 or 15% more than in 2012. Where, then, are the changes?
BIG GUYS CUT DOWN
KZN is still the biggest province, but its dominance has waned. In 2012 the 974 KZN delegates constituted nearly 24% of total branch delegates. Now they are down to 870 delegates or 18.4%.
The other “loser” is the Eastern Cape whose number of delegates declined by 4%. They have been overtaken by Mpumalanga as the second biggest province after KZN. Some reports link this decline to the ANC’s weaker position in Nelson Mandela Bay metro.
In 2012 KZN and the Eastern Cape constituted 40% of the branch delegates at the conference, now they will be down to 32%. Not only have do they have fewer delegates, but their relative size in the conference has also declined.
In contrast, the less populated, inland rural provinces have shown growth in the number of delegates, some considerably so.
The North West grew most (129% more delegates than in 2012); followed by Mpumalanga (57.6%); Free State (26.23%); Limpopo (12%) and the sparsely populated Northern Cape (12%).
These five provinces formed 43.26% of the branch delegates in 2012, now they will constitute 53.33%. In contrast, only 32% of the country’s population live in those five provinces. The growth in the ANC delegate count has occurred in rural South Africa. It is noticeable that in there is only one metro in these five provinces (Mangaung in the Free State). The other metros are all in Gauteng, KZN and Western Cape.
DIVERGENCE OPENING UP
Gauteng and the Western Cape have registered small increases in delegates, but their relative size in the conference is smaller than it was in 2012 (because it is a bigger conference). Then they made up 16.5% of branch delegates, now 15.5%.
That 15.5% contrasts with the 36.8% of South Africa’s population that live in those two provinces. They are also the two provinces where in-migration is the strongest. There is a divergence opening up between the ANC’s power base and where the country’s population is. The long term political implications will be interesting.
SO WHO WILL WIN...
What does all this mean for the outcome of the election?
Ostensibly, the growth in the rural provinces seems to strengthen Mrs Zuma’s candidacy. But the one thing one cannot do is to assume that a particular province will vote as a block for a particular candidate. News reports on flying chairs, court cases and more court cases and parallel conferences indicate deep divisions in virtually all the provinces, except Mpumalanga. The race remains open.
Branches are currently nominating their preferred candidates for the top 6 as well as members of the National Executive Committee – the process started on 1 September and will conclude end October. The branch nominations are put in sealed envelopes which will be opened by the ANC’s electoral commission, although many branches declare their preferences publicly.
The nominations will give us a good idea of who has what support. In fact, in the previous two ANC elections, 2007 and 2012, the final election result at conference was in line with the nominations. So we will simply have to be patient for a few more weeks.
Timeline leading up to the ANC national Conference 68 days to the ANC conference
Outstanding issues still pending which may have an impact on the political scene:
This communication has been issued for internal purposes only by Nedgroup Private Wealth (Pty) Limited trading as Nedbank Private Wealth (“the Company”), and its subsidiaries, and is proprietary to the Company. If forwarded, distributed or transmitted to any person other than an employee of the Company, such transmission is for objective and general information purposes only and the information contained therein should not be relied upon by the recipient as financial advice. Any recipient seeking financial advice is strongly urged to contact an authorised representative of the Company. This communication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the permission of the Company. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources which and persons whom we believe to be reliable but is not guaranteed for accuracy, completeness or otherwise. All opinions expressed and recommendations made are subject to change without notice. The portfolio holdings of the Company and its employees may from time to time include securities mentioned herein.
What do you think of the new site?