Zikalala vows KZN won't be the biggest loser at ANC's national conference

In spite of boasting the ANC’s largest membership and being home to its biggest region, eThekwini, the province failed to secure any representation in the governing party’s top leadership. It backed Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who lost out to Cyril Ramaphosa.

ANC KwaZulu-Natal Chairperson Sihle Zikalala speaking at the ANC regional conference.

DURBAN - African National Congress (ANC) KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Sihle Zikalala has vowed that his province will not be the biggest loser at the party’s national conference in December, as leaders continue working to ensure they present a united front.

In spite of boasting the ANC’s largest membership and being home to its biggest region, eThekwini, the province failed to secure any representation in the governing party’s top leadership.

It backed Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who lost out to current ANC president, Cyril Ramaphosa.

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And as the race toward the 55th congress takes shape, leaders like Zweli Mkhize are said to be building up campaigns to challenge Ramaphosa for the post.

As regions in KZN prepare for its own provincial conference, there’s already a lot of horse-trading happening and attempts by party members to find one another in a bid to prevent a repeat of the 2017 national conference outcomes.

Provincial chair Sihle Zikalala said that the different interests which pulled members apart in the past were no longer an issue.

"Yes, people will go around trying to divide, trying to build themselves, to build their influence but the reality is that we are working together towards a national conference," he said.

But Zikalala said that while contestation was important, he hoped to see an ANC more focused on its policies and ways to ensure that they were all implemented.

WATCH: Zikalala: Zweli Mkhize's conduct undermines the leadership of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal

He said that the ANC had to find ways to reverse its misfortunes with the electorate.

"We need to work harder right now to ensure service delivery. We need to win 2024. The provincial conference is important, the national conference is important but these two are not more important than winning elections," he said.

Zikalala has refused to speak on his own ambitions, arguing that he was waiting on the party branches to indicate where he should go next.

Some have lobbied for his return at the helm in Durban, while others suggest he should be the leader who represents KZN as an ANC top official at Luthuli House.