The ANC’s failure to pay salaries has had dreadful consequences for its employees, some of whom have been evicted from their homes or are now relying on loan sharks to provide for themselves and their families.
Staff representative Mvusi Mdala this week said the meetings convened by ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile had shown that the party’s leadership had no clear plan to solve this crisis, which is why the staff members had decided to down tools.
Mdala said that, in a meeting on Tuesday, Mashatile presented “timelines which are not achievable”.
“He has run out of ideas and he is failing to say that. He committed to giving us a written response and we were informed that the response was ready, waiting for his signature. In that meeting, it was said there was a high possibility we might get into next month without salaries,” Mdala said, adding:The situation the ANC has put people in is not only about losing houses; people are being evicted now because they last paid rent last year. We are subjecting ourselves to these inhumane conditions by the leadership not providing solutions.
An ANC employee said she was paid until September. Last month was the worst festive season she had experienced, she said.
“I was even afraid to answer your [City Press’] call because I was afraid that maybe it’s one of the creditors. I received a notice from my landlord saying I must vacate the premises if I do not pay all the rent owing by January 31,” she said.President Cyril Ramaphosa speaking during the ANC 110 birthday held at old Peter Mokaba stadium in Limpopo. Photo: Trevor Kunene
The mother of two said the party had failed to fulfil its promises to solve its financial woes within six months. She said she had nowhere to go if she was evicted.I saw it [the January 8 celebrations] on television and I heard our president saying that the issue of staff salaries is sorted … I was surprised. I am so disappointed in the current party leadership.
“I am a single mother, and the father of my children does not pay child support as his income has been affected by Covid-19.”
Another staff member explained that it was unbearable not knowing when salaries would be paid. She said she had moved back home with her three children because she could not pay rent.
“It has been very hard, especially because we do not know when we will get paid. As we speak, I have a negative balance [in my account] because of bank charges. I have outstanding payments for a couple of months on my car and they are threatening to repossess it. Imagine, everyone depends on you, your children are hungry and you don’t even know where to go.
“So, you end up going to a mashonisa [loan shark] to get by. When you get paid, it does not feel good because all the money goes towards paying off debt. You will see, the [55th ANC elective] conference [in December] will take place because there was money put aside for that,” she lamented.
She said resigning was not an option, as the party had not paid their provident fund contributions and other benefits since 2018.
In its meeting this week, the national working committee (NWC) acknowledged the strain the nonpayment of salaries was putting employees under. City Press has seen the notes of the meeting, which discussed ways the party could overcome its financial woes.
The NWC also discussed a possible amendment to the Political Party Funding Act to allow parties to receive up to R100 million from a single donor, as opposed to the current R15 million.
The party blames this law, which comes into effect on April 1, for its financial woes. It also suggested that foreign donations should be increased, with the threshold for disclosures placed at R250 000 to R500 000 a year.