Finance

ANC Limpopo nominate Cyril Ramaphosa as preferred presidential candidate

ANC Limpopo nominate Cyril Ramaphosa as preferred presidential candidate

South Africa's rand weakened early on Monday as the leadership race for the new leader of the ruling African National Congress gathered momentum, with the largest voting bloc expected to signal its preferred candidate this week.

Ramaphosa won the endorsement for the ANC presidency from 374 branches in Gauteng, tallies released Saturday at a party meeting in Pretoria, the capital, show.

But the majority of delegates (223 branch nominations) spoilt their papers by writing "unity", as part of a push by provincial chairperson David Mabuza to force Dlamini Zuma and another presidential hopeful, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, to compromise.

Provinces have been given until Sunday to finalise presidential nominations.

The trend continued with last year's local government election, during which the ANC commanded a mere 54% of the national tally of votes. The remaining two provinces should announce their favored candidates by December 5.

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On Friday, Mpumalanga's PGC officially nominated former AU Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to be the next leader of the ANC. The party's provincial chairman Paul Mashatile was backed as treasurer-general.

Most investors favor Ramaphosa, 65, a lawyer, former labor-union leader and one of the wealthiest black South Africans, who has pledged to revive the ailing economy, reduce a 28 percent unemployment rate and combat corruption if elected.

Even worse are those who are preaching unity on his behalf.

Meanwhile, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe says the party now has the burden of converting the nominations for unity into actual votes.