South African union backs unionist-turned-tycoon Ramaphosa as next President

Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy President of South Africa

South Africa‘s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa saw his chances of becoming the country’s next leader increase on Monday when the powerful mining union he helped found before he made a fortune in business backed him to succeed President Jacob Zuma.

The debate over who should follow Zuma, either when his term ends in 2019 or before, has heated up since the ruling African National Congress (ANC) suffered its worst local election results last month, exposing party divisions.

No one has declared an ambition to take over but informal positioning is well under way, with the party split between backers of Ramaphosa, a former anti-apartheid leader popular with investors, and those who feel he would be too pro-business.

A decision has been taken “to support the candidacy of Cyril Ramaphosa for president” (of the ANC), the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), one of South Africa’s biggest unions, said.

Read more: South African union backs unionist-turned-tycoon Ramaphosa as next president | World | Reuters

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