Sowetan has learnt that the North West, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape want their premiers removed.
However, Premier Zweli Mkhize's elevation to the top six as treasurer-general has automatically opened up the space as his position is full-time in the ANC at its headquarters at Luthuli House in Johannesburg.
Meanwhile in Gauteng, Premier Nomvula Mokonyane, who was key in lobbying for Zuma's victory, is understood to be working to oust chairman Paul Mashatile, who serves as arts and culture minister, when the province holds its conference next year.
Eastern Cape secretary Oscar Mabuyane said there was a strong move to eliminate having "two centres of power" in the province and that "we as a province should be appealing to national government to ensure the centre holds".
Provincial chairman Phumullo Masualle declined the national executive committee nomination, and it is understood that the province wants him to take over from Premier Noxolo Kiviet.
In KwaZulu-Natal, Mkhize's elevation to the top six has opened the door for provincial executive committee member and education MEC Senzo Mchunu to take over.
North West seems set to approach Luthuli House to remove their premier, Thandi Modise. A senior provincial leader who did not want to be identified said Modise had failed to unite the province.