After a long and rigorous search for suitable candidates, the ANC will today finalise and announce the names of its mayoral candidates across the country.
For the past two weeks, the party has been conducting interviews for key positions, including those of speakers and chief whips.
The process started with a short list of mayoral candidates and speakers for different municipalities, which was followed by regional executive committees voting for the final three candidates.
The three were then interviewed by national and provincial executive committee deployees.
City Press understands that the successful candidates’ names were forwarded to the national executive committee (NEC) for final endorsement on Friday.
The ANC hopes to reach an agreement with other political parties for a coalition government that will give it the power to run many of the municipalities it won a majority in, but with less than 50% plus one, including Gauteng.
The party has agreed to retain mayors in various metros. In Ekurhuleni, mayor Mzwandile Masina increased his chances of retaining his position by impressing the interviewing panel, which included President Cyril Ramaphosa.
According to the final candidate list submitted to the panel, Masina was contesting the mayoral position against Belinda Nomadlozi Nkosi and Jongizizwe Hensen Dlabathi.
While the NEC must make final recommendations, Masina’s core group believes that his leadership style and the fact that he led Ekurhuleni to three consecutive clean audits strengthens his case for another term. Recently appointed City of Johannesburg mayor Mpho Moerane faces stiff competition from ANC regional secretary Dada Morero following the interviews.
Moerane replaced the late Jolidee Matongo.
Since Johannesburg is one of the 66 hung municipalities where the ANC won with less than 50%, Moerane’s tough test will come during the week, when he faces other political party candidates, including ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba – who is also said to be eyeing the position – and DA candidate Mpho Phalatse.
Each of the parties will put forward their own nominees, although none can win the position on their own.
The decision on whether Moerane will retain his position also depends on the ANC’s coalition talks with other political parties in Johannesburg.
After the local government elections, all the ANC provincial executive committees held an extended meeting to reflect on the election results and finalise the mayoral candidate lists.
Frans Moshielo is the favourite to lead the party’s Tshwane caucus, while Simphiwe Mbatha came second and Rebecca Morudi was third in the interviews.
The three names were nominated ahead of regional chairperson Kgosi Maepa, who failed to make the short list.
In Limpopo, the provincial structure released the list of all the mayoral candidates and the dates for interviews at the extended provincial executive committee meeting, which was held on November 9.
The interview panel has allegedly recommended John Mpe to continue as mayor of Polokwane. According to the reporting template for that municipality, Mpe is the youngest candidate, aged 51, while his two competitors are aged 68 and 71.
In Rustenburg, North West, incumbent speaker Sheila Mabale-Huma is in pole position to replace outgoing mayor Mpho Khunou.
The battle for the mayoral chain in eThekwini was between current mayor Mxolisi Kaunda and Thabani Nyawose.
This was after ANC Women’s League regional secretary Zama Sokhabase failed to attend the interviews.
In Mangaung, speaker Mapaseka Mothibi-Nkoane has emerged as the favourite ahead of the current mayor Mxolisi Siyonzana and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Lechesa Tsenoli.