Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe on Friday‚ stopped just short of declaring his availability to take over as the ANC’s next president.
Radebe is seen by some in the ANC as a possible candidate to take over from President Jacob Zuma in December this year.
He is likely to challenge Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa‚ who has been endorsed by Cosatu for the post‚ Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Mathews Phosa for the top position.
Dlamini-Zuma has been endorsed by the ANC Women’s League‚ the ANC Youth League and the uMkhonto Wesizwe Military Veterans.
Speaking to the media at an ANCYL Youth Day event in Cape Town‚ Radebe said he always listened to what the structures of the ANC say.
“But I have never declined what the ANC wants me to do. Whether the role is big or small‚ it doesn’t matter. What is important is the contribution‚ especially now towards this programme of ensuring that the prosperity of all South Africans is on the agenda of the day‚” said Radebe.
But he said he would wait for the ANC structure to pronounce themselves before he communicates his decision.
Radebe is the longest serving cabinet minister since the dawn of democracy‚ having served since 1994 under former President Nelson Mandela.
He was however quick to dispel any notion that he was campaigning for the top job.
“This is not a campaign trail. Every leader of the ANC and government is attending one meeting or the other because we are commemorating [June 16]‚” he said.
Radebe said his visit and address were important because the ANC was a government of the people‚ and they needed to ensure that they provided the youth league and the public with information.
“[We need to] ensure that we prioritise youth development which is key in unlocking the challenges that our young people are suffering from‚ [problems such as] unemployment‚ poverty and inequality‚” he said.
He encouraged the youth not only to be job seekers but also job creators as they were the future of the country.