Paul Mashatile. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Paul Mashatile. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

Gauteng ANC chairman Paul Mashatile, now the party’s new treasurer-general, has led the ANC’s most progressive province since 2007.

Mashatile, who was up against International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane for the job, won 2,517 votes against her 2,178.

Mashatile has been an activist in the province since his student days, and in 1983 he co-founded the Alexandra Youth Congress (AYCO) and was elected as its first president. He became active in the United Democratic Front, where he served as the assistant general secretary in the Southern Transvaal region. He was the UDF's general secretary from 1989 until the UDF was dissolved.

In 1992, Mashatile was elected ANC Gauteng secretary, working alongside Tokyo Sexwale, who was chairperson, and in 1994 he became a member of the provincial legislature. From 1996 to 2008 he served in different portfolios as an MEC in the province. In 1998 he was elected Gauteng ANC deputy chairperson until he was elected chairperson.

Mashatile has also served as a Cabinet minister under President Jacob Zuma and an MP, before moving back to provincial politics.

Now with Mashatile leaving the province, it is expected that his deputy and long-time friend David Makhura will take the reins in Gauteng;

Mashatile describes himself as a democrat. He was wooed by both factions in the run-up to the Nasrec conference, with some regarding him as a unifying force. He was on the Ramaphosa slate as treasurer-general.

Now with Mashatile leaving the province, it is expected that his deputy and long-time friend David Makhura will take the reins in Gauteng; however, the Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma faction wants Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina to take charge. The ANC Gauteng will have to hold new elections, with Mashatile leaving his post for Luthuli House.

The province will be facing an uphill battle as the campaign ahead of the 2019 elections gets going in 2018.

Gauteng is most at risk of being lost to the DA.

With Natasha Marrian

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