The issue was debated by conference delegates in closed commissions on organisational renewal‚ with the majority agreeing that the ANC should only add a second deputy secretary-general in their top leadership structure‚ expanding it from six to seven.

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal‚ which has the largest delegation at the conference‚ was adamant that the ANC did not need two deputy presidents.

Insiders said the call for a second deputy president of the ANC did not gain any traction.

“Most commissions said it has to be seven. This thing of nine leaders will not work and people are agreeing‚” a source said.

ANC KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Sihle Zikalala told said their delegation would only accept two deputy secretary-generals‚ with the added role focused primarily on monitoring and evaluation.

“We are not going to allow this thing of two deputy presidents. It does not work it does not make any sense‚” he said. However‚ delegates from the North West said they still hoped to persuade conference to adopt the proposal.

The North West wants one deputy president to be responsible for international relations while the other would deal with monitoring and evaluation.

ANC North West chairperson Supra Mahumapelo said they had hoped to win over delegates to their proposal but in the end a resolution would have to be made based on consensus.

“International relations should be located in the presidency. There will be another deputy president in the ANC responsible for performance monitoring and evaluation‚” he said.

The issue is likely to be settled when the conference adopts policy proposals from commissions in the closing plenary on Wednesday.

The ANC in Gauteng also shared the view that there should be two deputy presidents‚ but insiders say they did not push for this in the closed commissions.