Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe has officially announced his candidacy as party president, the SABC reported on Tuesday.
Radebe made the announcement while delivering a Nelson Mandela lecture in Pretoria on Monday night. He reportedly received a nomination from branches in Pretoria.
"I thank you for your confidence, I thank you for your trust. I am ready to serve the organisation," he said.
JUST IN; Jeff Radebe confirms when he said he's available to serve, it was in relation to question asked in relation to ANC President post!— Thulasizwe Simelane (@ThulasSims) July 31, 2017
However, this is not the first time Radebe has hinted at his willingness to run for the position, which would pit him against heavyweights Cyril Ramaphosa, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Lindiwe Sisulu.
Addressing party members at an OR Tambo Memorial lecture in June, Radebe said he had never turned down an ANC deployment, when asked if he was prepared to lead.
He reportedly received a nomination from the ANC's Midvaal branch at the time.
ANC Midvaal Zone chairperson Tefo Molakeng told eNCA: "He's a selfless leader. And from our zone point of view, we think Jeff Radebe will be a very good President and we're saying he must be the President and we'll support him all the way until the national conference. And we're sure that he's going to win the conference and will be African National Congress president after conference."
Radebe told the broadcaster it was important to let the correct processes take its course, but that he had never turned down a deployment by the ANC before.
"What I'm saying is that let's wait until the structures of the ANC do the right thing. Right now people are talking about names, but the actual process of nominating will start in September. But I've never refused to be deployed by members of the ANC since I joined this organisation. There is no position that is big and small for me. What is important is to contribute towards the attainment of a better life for the people of South Africa.
"The history from 1994 is very clear. I've been in this government since 1994, whenever I've been called upon to do something in government I do it in the best of my abilities, from public works up until now. So I think I've stood up to scrutiny. I've never wavered when decisions had to be taken in the interests of our people."