African National Congress (ANC) staff have embarked on a wild cat strike after learning they won’t be receiving their salaries on time this month. The party has since closed all of its offices across the country while it negotiates with staff representatives.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe was quick to dismiss the governing party’s cash flow problems, saying “It’s nothing new because the party had been late with salaries in the past.”
In a letter, the ANC general manager Febe Potgieter-Gqubule informed staff the party would not pay their salaries for August, in addition to the outstanding salaries for July.
“This is to indicate that we are not yet in a position to pay outstanding salaries for July 2021. Unfortunately, August 2021 salaries, due on the 25th of this month, are also delayed. I do regret the hardship and the uncertainty that this cause staff and their families, and this is deeply regrettable,” Potgieter-Gqubule said.
The general manager said the ANC had been able to pay staff over the first 14 months of the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, the party said it was behind by three months for the first time.
“The ANC over the first fourteen months, despite the challenges of the pandemic and a challenging economic situation, has kept its commitment to staff to pay full salaries each month, albeit late. This is the first time that we are delayed with three months of payments.
“We appreciate the commitment and dedication of ANC staff, who despite these difficulties, diligently serve their organisation. We will continue to communicate on this matter as information becomes available,” the statement concluded.
Political Funding Act
The ANC has repeatedly blamed the new Political Party Funding Act for the struggles of it paying staff salaries on time.
ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile previously denied the party was bankrupt, saying the Political Party Funding Act – which came into effect on 1 April – had an impact on the party’s coffers.
Mashatile said this did not mean the ANC was bankrupt as funding from its donors had been “trickling in as opposed to previous years”.
“Since the advent of the new law, there has been a great reluctance from many businesses to donate because of disclosure. So, as a result, we have struggled to get money in time as opposed to previous years,” Mashatile told Radio 702.
What is the Political Party Funding Act?
The Political Party Funding Act requires political parties represented in the Parliament and provincial legislatures to submit audited financial statements for funding received from the Represented Political Party Fund and the Multi-Party Democracy Fund.
Parties also have an obligation to disclose donations from R100,000 and upwards.
According to reports, the ANC has been unable to pay staff benefits to provident and pension funds, despite making deductions from their salaries.
The party also owes the South African Revenue Service millions in PAYE deductions. It is been reported that some staff members have not received their May salaries either.
Additional reporting by Thapelo Lekabe