President Jacob Zuma has reportedly thrown his weight behind a power sharing agreement that would see deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and his rival, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, share power after the ANC's elective conference in December.
The Star reported on Wednesday that while some in the party believe this would avoid a bloodbath in December, some provinces are divided on the issue. The proposal is informally being discussed at the ANC's policy conference.
The Star reported that negotiations between the provinces could include one backed by KwaZulu-Natal, in which the loser in the race for president automatically becomes the deputy president. Zuma reportedly likes this idea.
An anonymous source told the paper: "In our commission, it was only (KZN chairperson, Sihle) Zikalalala and Zuma who articulated it. Other people just ignored it. It's a new proposal, which we obviously need to consult widely on."
The ANC's biggest region, eThekwini, is reportedly behind the proposal.
Ethekwini regional secretary, Bheki Ntuli told The Star:
"The situation whereby we have our own top six and others have their own top six leads to breakaways after conferences. We should have a system that would allow the loser to be accommodated as the deputy president and the deputy secretary general," Ntuli said.
But ANCYL president Collen Maine reportedly said the proposal would not be in line with the ANC's constitution, which says all top six positions are contested. ANCYL secretary in KZN, Thanduxolo Sabelo reportedly said the league still wanted Mpumalanga chair, David Mabuza, to be president.
"If you are not elected in the ANC, the culture of the ANC says you must then be able to support the leadership that has been elected. Unity of the party must then be unity of purpose. You cannot be united by positions," he reportedly said.
The Eastern Cape reportedly supports the deal, while the Northern Cape is against it.
TimesLive reported that some are against the proposal because it only allows for a situation where there are two candidates in the race. But there are already campaigns underway for Lindiwe Sisulu, Baleka Mbete and Matthews Phosa.