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Gauteng ANC expects hotly contested polls

Paul Mashatile urged delegates to embark on an intensive campaign in metro areas.

Gauteng ANC Chairperson Paul Mashatile warned delegates to expect hotly contested elections in 2016. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

PRETORIA - ANC Gauteng chairperson Paul Mashatile on Friday warned delegates at the party's provincial conference to expect hotly contested elections in 2016.

He urged them to embark on an intensive campaign to retain control of metro areas.

Mashatile delivered his political report on the first day of the elective conference in Pretoria.

He says new leaders will have to formulate a plan for the local government elections.

Mashatile says issues that have frustrated Gauteng residents need to be given special attention.

"We are about 18 months away from local elections that promise to become hotly contested."

Mashatile and former secretary David Makhura are expected to fill the top two posts in the province when elections take place on Friday afternoon.

The chairperson was joined on stage by other senior ANC leaders, including Cyril Ramaphosa, Jessie Duarte, Zweli Mkhize and Kgalema Motlanthe.

The party is expected to iron out plans for the 2016 local government elections.

Delegates from regions in Johannesburg, Tshwane, Ekurhuleni the Vaal and West Rand all sang songs in support of the existing leadership.

There isn't much contestation for positions expected at this conference, which is due to discuss some of party's major hurdles faced in the province.

Issues like the Gauteng e-tolls, the billing and water crisis will likely take centre stage.

On the issue of the controversial tolls, Mashatile says the review panel set up by Makhura is not an attempt to divide provincial and national leadership.

He said the panel was in fact endorsed by the highest structures.

Mashatile says the review panel is a direct response to outrage expressed by residents and recommendations from it will be implemented.