ANC takes steps to compensate for lack of women premier candidates

The ANC has taken measures to compensate for the fact that it has selected only two women to take up posts as premier, out of the eight provinces it won in the 2019 election.

The governing party on Monday announced its premier candidates for seven of the eight provinces it was elected to govern, with further discussions to take place on the premier of the North West province.

The selection of premiers took place at a special national executive committee (NEC) meeting in Irene on Monday. It followed a decline in the ANC’s electoral performance in the 2019 general elections but the retention of all eight provinces it held in 2014.

Once again, the party has had difficulty appointing female candidates — appointing only two women of the seven premier-elect candidates named on Monday.

To address the gender disparity among the candidates, the NEC decided that where the premiers were men, at least 60% of the members of the executive council or the provincial executive should be women.


“There was consensus that in instances where the premier is a female there shall be at least 50- 50 representation in the provincial executive,” the party said in a statement on Monday evening.

“Speakers in all provinces will be women irrespective of whether the Premier is male or female. Youth representation must be integrated.”

The NEC meeting received three names from each provincial leadership structure.

It then selected one of the three names for the post based on gender parity, unity and stability in ANC structures and integrity and experience.

The premier candidates for the seven provinces are:

  • Eastern Cape — Oscar Mabuyane
  • Free State — Sisi Ntombela
  • Gauteng — David Makhura
  • KwaZulu Natal — Sihle Zikalala
  • Limpopo — Stan Mathabatha
  • Mpumalanga — Refilwe Mtsweni
  • Northern Cape — Zamani Saul
  • Further discussions within the party are expected to take place before a premier of the North West is named. 

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    Natasha Marrian
    Natasha Marrian
    Marrian has built a reputation as an astute political journalist, investigative reporter and commentator. Until recently she led the political team at Business Day where she also produced a widely read column that provided insight into the political spectacle of the week.

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