'Gauteng ANC has Zuma's full support'

Paul Mashatile says Zuma isn't at loggerheads with the party's Gauteng branch over its e-tolling stance.

ANC Gauteng Chairman Paul Mashatile. Picture: ANC.

JOHANNESBURG - Despite claims that President Jacob Zuma may be at loggerheads with the party's Gauteng structures over its e-tolling resolutions, the African National Congress (ANC)'s provincial chairman Paul Mashatile says they have Zuma's full support.

The party held its provincial conference in Centurion at the weekend where it openly opposed e-tolling.

Zuma, who was scheduled to deliver the political address at the closing of the provincial conference at the weekend, chose not to attend.

His absence has fuelled further speculation that the president is at odds with the Gauteng leadership.

Some reports suggested that Zuma was upset that the party had taken this position, but Mashatile has refuted this.

Mashatile said Zuma has been openly engaging with the provincial leadership on its stance on the matter.

"So from where we are, we are happy that there are no loggerheads at all. We think that the president couldn't come to our conference because of other commitments."

He also said the president had wished to attend the conference but he sent out the message informing them about other pressing matters.

Mashatile led the previous Gauteng ANC leadership which backed Kgalema Motlanthe, who was running against Zuma during the governing party's Mangaung elective conference in 2012.

Motlanthe lost the race as Zuma retained his presidency of the ANC.

In recent weeks, messages from the National Transport Department and the Gauteng government have been at odds over whether the controversial tolling system would remain or be scrapped.

The e-tolling system went live on 3 December after months of legal wrangling, protests and calls for civil disobedience.