On Thursday an influential union group in South Africa, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) backed Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to become the next President of South Africa, succeeding Zuma as the next president of the ruling African National Congress party.
President Zuma is expected to step down as leader of the ANC at a conference scheduled to hold next year. ahead of the 2019 elections.
VP Ramaphosa is a wealthy businessman, therefore investors view him as the right person to turn South Africa’s economy around.
In September, a different trade union, the National Union of Miners (NUM) endorsed Ramaphosa to run for President.
Ramaphosa was a founding member of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), forged during the struggle against white-minority rule in the 1980s.
VP Ramaphosa is yet to declare his ambition to run for the presidency. In fact, no ANC party member has explicitly stated a desire to run for President. However, there have been speculations that President Zuma’s brother, as well as current AU chairwoman, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, could bid for the presidential race.
“This is a victory for the camp opposing Zuma and backing Cyril,” said political analyst Nic Borain. “They are still up against it because Jacob Zuma’s support base is dominant, but Cyril is still very much in the game.”
Similar to the situation in Zimbabwe, there are factions in the ruling ANC party, with Camp 1 advocating for a successor who is loyal to Zuma and Camp 2 aiming for the Vice President Ramaphosa to succeed Zuma.
The ANC, the party of the late Nelson Mandela, has been at the helm of government in South Africa since the end of Apartheid in 1994.