Thapelo Lekabe

By Thapelo Lekabe

Senior Digital Journalist

SACP struggling to pay staff salaries, resorts to crowdfunding to raise cash

Just like the ANC, the SACP says it’s raising funds through crowdfunding.

The South African Communist Party (SACP) says media reports that the party has been struggling to pay staff salaries on time have been exaggerated.

The Sunday World reported at the weekend that the party’s full-time staff members were going into their sixth month without being paid their salaries.

Staff members who spoke to the tabloid claimed their houses and cars were being repossessed, while the party’s senior officials, such as SACP general-secretary Blade Nzimande, were receiving their fat salaries and government perks.

Cash flow problems

The SACP’s first deputy secretary-general Solly Mapaila confirmed on Monday that the party was experiencing cash flow problems.

Mapaila said that like its alliance partner the ANC – which struggled last year to pay staff salaries for months – the SACP was raising funds through crowdfunding.

He said it was not just the party’s full-time staff who were not getting paid, but this included the SACP’s full-time political staff.

“It’s true that we have struggled at some point to pay staff salaries, but it’s not at the rate it was reported in the media,” Mapaila told Newzroom Afrika.

He said the SACP’s income came from donations and members’ contributions.

However, Mapaila said, the Covid-19 pandemic affected the party’s cash flow as most of its members lost their jobs.

“When Covid-19 hit us bad and workers were not at work, they were unable to make those contributions which we were unable to share to all our employed staff, including myself.”

Outstanding salaries

According to Mapaila, he was owed his salary for almost six months, but this was not for consecutive months.

“We are owed, me for instance, almost six months of salaries. Not six months in a row without being paid, but I’m owed six months of salaries,” he said.

Mapaila denied that the party faced “wholesale non-payment”. He said other contributions owed to staff, such as medical aid and provident fund payments, were up to date.

“We’ve also contributed immensely as a party in taking responsibility to communicate with their respective banks and institutions that they owe, to make sure that we take that responsibility.

“And when the situation improves, we’ll be able to honour our own obligations,” he said.

Special contributions

Mapaila said the SACP’s deployees in government like Nzimande were making special contributions to assist the party with its cash flow problems.

He said this was on top of their regular monthly contributions.

“Given our situation, we had to meet with them to make a plea to alert them of our situation. And of course, they then responded by then making a special contribution, which we appreciate.”

Mapaila added that this was not the first time the SACP had faced problems with paying staff salaries.

“Even when comrade Blade [Nzimande] was working in the communist party we would go for some months without being paid.”

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