Former Nelson Mandela Bay mayor-turned businessman Nceba Faku is gearing up for a comeback into politics, eyeing the ANC’s top post in the Eastern Cape.
Although the provincial elective conference is still eight months away, Faku has already started lobbying behind the scenes in the hope of taking up the provincial chairmanship – a position held at present by premier Phumulo Masualle.
Faku declined to comment at this stage.
The chairman position is set to be one of the most highly contested, according to ANC insiders, as names such as provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane, provincial spokesman Mlibo Qoboshiyane and even Masualle are already being bandied about.
Whoever succeeds in getting the job will, with the rest of the top five, lead the province to the ANC’s national elective conference in December next year when a new crop of leaders will be chosen.
To win, Faku must garner significant support, including from the eastern side of the province which holds the majority of the party’s membership.
ANC insiders in Nelson Mandela Bay and the Sarah Baartman region said Faku had already prepared a pitch to help curry favour with some regions.
His strategy is said to be focused on trying to turn around the image of the ANC.
While some in the Bay’s branch and regional structures support him, they say Faku will have a hard time trying to convince regions such as OR Tambo, Chris Hani and Joe Gqabi.
He has the political credentials, but does not appear to have any evident support base in the Transkei area, they say.
A Bay branch leader said Faku had support in the metro, although his public image had been tainted somewhat over the years.
The branch leader said Faku would have a tough run against Mabuyane, who is said by some in the Bay and the Sarah Baartman and Chris Hani regions to be a firm favourite.
A Bay regional member said vying for the provincial chairmanship was a big jump for Faku as there were eight regions in total that would ultimately make the decision.
Another Bay branch member said branches in Motherwell, New Brighton and Kwazakhele were behind Faku.
An insider at Sarah Baartman said that lobbying on behalf of Qoboshiyane, Mabuyane and Masualle was already under way. The nominations process will start in February.