ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile says the governing party understands the hardships faced by its workers who have not received their salaries for months now and is working to fix this.
Mashatile on Monday denied that the ANC was bankrupt due to its cash flow problems, adding its staff members were not kept in the dark on their salaries.
“We understood when they said they’re going to protest because they’re obviously affected. As people who work for the ANC, we agreed with comrade Jessie [Duarte] and others that it is their right to voice their dissatisfaction.
“But we are putting plans in place to be able to mitigate the hardships and going forward to be able to get resources as much as we can,” Mashatile told Radio 702 in an interview.
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He said he would present a report on Monday to the ANC’s top six officials on plans to mitigate the financial challenges.
“So, we are not just sitting back and doing nothing, we are doing our best.”
On Tuesday ANC staff members are expected to picket outside the party’s headquarters at Luthuli House in Johannesburg and its provincial and regional offices over its failure to pay salaries on time. Elected ANC officials of all levels are expected to receive their memorandum of demand.
According to reports, the ANC has been unable to pay staff benefits to their provident and pension funds despite making deductions from their salaries The party also owes the South African Revenue Service millions in PAYE deductions.
The ANC admitted last week its cash flow challenges had reached a critical point.
Political Party Funding Act
Mashatile said the financial problems were due to a combination of factors, including the new Political Party Funding Act which came into effect on 1 April.
He said the legislation was having an impact on the ANC’s coffers.
“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 on time as opposed to the previous years,” he said.
Mashatile said this did not mean the party was bankrupt as funding from its donors had been “tricking as opposed to the previous years”.
He said the ANC has been relying on funding from membership fees, levies from its public representatives and government.
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.
Mashatile said: “It may well be that the reluctance now is also because people think that they will be accused of getting tenders because they fund the ANC, and so they stay away.
“But there is also another factor. I think since the pandemic in 2020 and the lockdown of the economy, many businesses have been struggling and others who would fund us have closed down.”
ANC conducting staff audit
Mashatile confirmed that the ANC was conducting an audit of staff complement with an intention to reduce its staff complement by half.
He said this was due to ghost workers that were identified on the party’s payroll, which was affecting its expenditure and salary bill.
However, Mashatile said the party does not want to come across as targeting people unnecessarily.
He said unless they reduce their expenses, cash flow problems would remain a problem for years.
“Our salary bill is unsustainable. We are moving in that direction but we don’t want to do it abruptly. We need to look at various issues like audit employees,” he said.
Mashatile also denied claims that ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa had to fork out money from his own pocket to assist the party pay salaries.
He said fundraising was the responsibility of all the party’s leaders.
“We have agreed as the officials that we shouldn’t allow a situation where one of the officials has to personally take care of the ANC… we would not allow a situation where the president has to use his personal money to pay ANC salaries because it’s a lot of money,” he said.