“Enemies were determined to crush us, especially here in Gauteng,” he said at the beginning of a three-day provincial conference.
“The DA made a huge investment of resources in Gauteng. We also had members coming from our strongholds to join the EFF. We were able to defeat them.”
He cautioned that the responsibility given to the ANC by voters in Gauteng should not be taken for granted.
“We must move with speed to make Gauteng a better place to live and work in,” said Mashatile.
The outgoing provincial executive committee, elected in 2010, had managed to steadily raise the party’s support base in South Africa’s economic hub.
The governing party garnered 53.59 percent of votes in the province (64.04 in 2009) and 49.31 percent in Tshwane (59.95 in 2009).
Senior ANC officials at the conference included ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte, treasurer Zweli Mkhize, former deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, and deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.
Mashatile said robust discussions were expected at the conference. A new provincial leadership is set to be elected.