ANC presidential hopeful Zweli Mkhize used his time on the campaign trail to call for unity in the party and champion the need for radical economic transformation.
Mkhize was elevated to the position of ANC treasurer-general at the party’s last elective conference in Mangaung in 2014. Back then his province‚ KwaZulu-Natal‚ was backing him for the position and its support paid dividends.
However this time Mkhize is angling for the highest position in the ruling party but is not enjoying as much support from his home province.
In KwaZulu-Natal’s provincial general council‚ Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma took 433 branches and Cyril Ramaphosa took 193. Mkhize received six nominations. The will of the province will be crucial in the race for ANC president as it has the largest number of delegates at the party’s elective conference starting at the weekend.
Mkhize is preaching a message of unity. He warned ANC branches that the conference was not about electing a new party president but about preparations for winning the 2019 elections with a “good majority”.
“When we go to the conference we must not go there as people who are heading for a fight‚” he said in one of his speeches.
He has also not been shy to talk about radical economic transformation‚ also championed by Dlamini-Zuma.
His campaign has targeted a diverse audience that included religious and traditional leaders‚ black professionals and youth political formations.