Who will lead the ANC's election charge?

Jo’burg mayor Parks Tau has impressed many, but drastic action may be required for the ANC to retain the city. (Madelene Cronjé)

Jo’burg mayor Parks Tau has impressed many, but drastic action may be required for the ANC to retain the city. (Madelene Cronjé)


Mondli Gungubele’s chances of retaining his position as Ekurhuleni executive mayor after the local government elections appear to be slim after a faction opposed to ANC Gauteng chair Paul Mashatile took over the regional leadership last year.

The region plans to push Mzwandile Masina as a suitable candidate to succeed Gungubele. He is ANC regional chair in Ekurhuleni as well as the country’s deputy trade and industry minister.  

Other names that have been suggested for mayor are Ekurhuleni speaker Patricia Kumalo and Doctor Xhakaza, a member of the mayoral committee on finance.


The outcome of an investigation by public protector Thuli Madonsela over the ill-fated prepaid electricity smart meter contract could spell the end of Tshwane mayor Sputla Ramokgopa’s political career.  

The R2-billion contract, awarded by the City of Tshwane to Peu Capital Partners in 2013, was cancelled last year after allegations of irregularities emerged. 

The anti-Ramokgopa group within the ANC in Tshwane wants his deputy, Mapiti Matsena, to take over as the new mayor. 

Ramokgopa, who is also the ANC’s regional chair in Tshwane, has been under pressure from the ANC Youth League and the party’s alliance partners, Cosatu and the South African Communist Party, to step down.
They accuse him of failing to root out corruption and have called on the national government to place the municipality under administration.

He has dismissed their allegations.


Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau is in the good books of Gauteng ANC chairperson Mashatile and his provincial executive committee. Without doubt, the provincial leadership would want Tau, who is also the party’s regional chair in Johannesburg, to retain his position after the local government elections. 

Tau has done fairly well since he took over as mayor after the 2011 municipal poll. But the fact that the ANC received only 54% of the vote in the city during the 2014 general elections might push the party’s national leadership to look elsewhere to improve its performance this year. 

Some in Johannesburg are proposing the name of Geoff Makhubo, a member of the city’s mayoral committee on finance, to succeed the soft-spoken Tau.

Nelson Mandela Bay

It is almost a done deal that Danny Jordaan is the ANC’s preferred mayoral candidate in the Nelson Mandela Bay metropole, despite him being criminally investigated in connection with the 2010 World Cup. 

The Democratic Alliance laid charges against Jordaan after it emerged that he wrote a letter to Fifa about South Africa’s plan to donate funds to a Caribbean football development programme. 

Jordaan hit the ground running after he took over the mayoral chain from Ben Fihla in May last year. He has helped in by-election campaigns and in trying to defuse violent protests in the city. But the ANC’s loss of ward 30 in Veeplaas and KwaMagxaki to the United Democratic Movement has presented Jordaan with an additional challenge.


Zandile Gumede could become the mayor of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality after she won the race to lead the ANC’s largest region in December. 

The new eThekwini ANC chairperson enjoys the support of a faction aligned to Sihle Zikalala, the party’s chair in KwaZulu-Natal. 

Current mayor James Nxumalo, who boycotted the conference that elected Gumede, is aligned to a faction supporting premier and former ANC provincial chair Senzo Mchunu.

Matuma Letsoalo

Matuma Letsoalo

Matuma Letsoalo is the political editor of the Mail & Guardian. He joined the newspaper in 2003 and has won numerous awards since then, including the regional award for Vodacom Journalist of the Year in the economics and finance category in 2015, SA Journalist of the Year in 2011, the Mondi Shanduka SA Story of the Year award in 2008 and CNN African Journalist of the Year – MKO Abiola Print Journalism in 2004. Read more from Matuma Letsoalo

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