The ANC's national executive committee (NEC) has shot down a proposal to separate the voting process for the positions of president and deputy president.
The move was part of President Jacob Zuma's proposal for the runner-up of the presidential race to have an opportunity to become deputy president instead.
Secretary general Gwede Mantashe had also said they would separate the voting to avoid slate voting that has become entrenched in the party's elections.
Voting for the top six positions will now take place at the same time, which is expected to be late on Saturday, with results are expected on Sunday.
"It will have to be a do or die situation," an NEC member in Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's camp told News24.
The original plan was to have the position of president, chairperson, secretary general and treasurer general nominated on Saturday and the results announced on Sunday -- after the results for the nominations for deputy president and deputy secretary general.
Meanwhile, the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg is expected to hand down judgment on the provincial executive committee's appeal to set aside an earlier judgment that nullified the 2015 elective conference.
The decision is expected to affect the standing of the provincial executive committee, led by provincial chair Sihle Zikalala.
Zikalala was elected to the position, replacing Senzo Mchunu.
A branch chairperson, Lawrence Dube, approached the court to challenge the results.