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It is not surprising that Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula was made the ANC’s head of elections – this, after all, is a position for someone with a very thick skin and no sense of irony.
Mbaks was in good, “let them eat cake” form on Wednesday, when he revealed that the ANC is to budget “not more than R50 million” for its campaigns in the local government elections, which have been gazetted to take place on 1 November.
In true Mbaks style, he described the budget as a “moving target” – indicating in his clumsy way that the R50 million figure was not cast in stone and that it could well be amended.
Given that this is the ANC, we would bet money on the fact that the budget goes up, not down. After all, when has the ANC ever cut spending when it comes to it most important task … ensuring that the gravy train remains on track?
Without a hint of irony, or the hurt he might be causing, Mbaks said: “It’s a very short [period of campaigning] and we can live without other things.”
Those “other things” are, clearly, the welfare of the ANC’s own staff and its statutory and fiduciary obligation to pay employee tax to the SA Revenue Service (Sars).
Employees at Luthuli House have gone unpaid for months and there have been reports that as much as R80 million in pay-as-you-earn deductions from staff salaries have not been paid over to Sars.
As if the cash flow crisis didn’t exist, Mbalula said, again with a straight face, that the ANC had “limited resources”.
He added that it would be looking to donors to raise funds.
No doubt any donors would expect something in return – because that has been the way of the ANC.
Election or not, some things never change.
LOCAL ELECTIONS 2021