Zuma allies are set to retain power

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma's backers in the ruling tripartite alliance are expected to cling on to power during upcoming elective conferences of their respective organisations.

Zuma and ANCYL president Julius Malema are also set to be retained.

Delegates to the September 21 to 24 elective congress of Cosatu were set to retain president S'dumo Dlamini and Zuma's fervent political ally general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said: "This time around the conference will delve into policy discussions like the state of the economy, job creation, National Health Insurance and casualisation of workers."

Cosatu KwaZulu-Natal secretary Zet Luzipho said delegates were not likely to push for an overhaul of the leadership.

In the SACP, the role of party secretary-general Blade Nzimande would be discussed with delegates expected to push for a resolution on whether Nzimande should retain his position in the SACP despite being a Minister of Higher Education and Training.

Nzimande's deputy Jeremy Cronin said recently that future roles of SACP members who have been deployed in government would be discussed, including the position of SACP chairperson Gwede Mantashe who is also the ANC's general secretary.

In the ANCYL, Malema, who replaced ANC NEC member Fikile Mbalula last year, was expected to be re-elected at the end of the current three-year term in 2011 and to step down in 2014.

Zuma, whose current term ends in 2012, was expected to remain party president until 2017.

He had previously indicated he planned to serve one term in the ANC and government but Vavi told a media briefing that the labour federation had convinced Zuma to take a second term.

Last week the Mail & Guardian reported a showdown between Mbalula and Mantashe's supporters would unravel at the party's elective conference in Mangaung, Bloemfontein, in 2012.

The paper reported the ANCYL favoured its former president Mbalula as the next general secretary, wanting Mantashe to be shifted to the less powerful position of party chairperson.

The ANC's leftist allies - Cosatu and the SACP - were pushing for Mantashe to be retained.

Last week, Gauteng ANCYL chairperson Jacob Khawe told an ANCYL gathering at Sedibeng Municipality that Malema would take a second term.

ANCYL spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said it was generally accepted in the youth league that Malema would not be opposed at the next conference.