Parliament’s chief whip forum has agreed to hold a vote of no confidence in president Jacob Zuma on Thursday and elect a new president on Friday.
Parliaments programming committee has also agreed to hold the state of the nation address on Friday evening.
The chief whips met in parliament shortly after the ANC announced that its MPs would be allowed to vote in favor of a motion of no confidence in Zuma.
“We believe we are about to wrap up on these few issues [involving Zuma] and get the parliamentary program back on track for us to deal with the rest of the issues that flow from the budget speech, that hopefully we still would have delivered on Wednesday next week,” National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete said.
The ANC initially planned to have Ramaphosa deliver the state of the nation address on Friday as acting president if Zuma resigns before the scheduled motion of no confidence, Mbete said.
“We would come together to decide on how to proceed and I think it would be simpler, and one of the options we discussed, is that we can proceed with acting president and dispense with all of the activities [such as Sona and the president’s response].”
But the Democratic Alliance’s chief whip John Steenhuisen disagreed, saying “it would be desirable for the president to deliver the state of the nation, instead of the acting president so we can hold them accountable for the rest of the year.”
Economic Freedom Fighters chief whip Floyd Shivambu suggested that Ramaphosa be sworn in on Friday morning as president and the state of the nation be delivered at 7pm that evening.
The proposal was supported by the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the ANC.
Ramaphosa now looks set to be sworn in as president of South Africa on Friday morning.
The ANC president needs a majority vote from the ANC to be elected president.
Steenhuisen said the DA has a responsibility to field its own candidate for the position of president, while the EFF said they would not take part in the proceedings.