Johannesburg - ANC employees continue to suffer due to the failure by the ruling party in paying their outstanding salaries since last year.
ANC staff representative spokesperson Mvusi Mdala said the situation was dire for employees. He further said they were tired of what he called false promises from ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile to pay them only to end up not paid.
Mdala said as employees they had not met anyone from the NEC to address their issues recently.
“The communication we have received from management is that all our salaries would be paid by 21 January. This has happened before, it is like the national anthem of Mashatile’s office. This has disturbed and worried us. It seems like the leadership does not care about the welfare of the ANC staff and they don't care about the image of the movement, don't care about the ANC losing elections or its support declining. These acts contribute to that, they only care about themselves,” Mdala said.
At the end of his January 8 statement, ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa said they were aware of the issues faced by the employees and promised that soon that would be dealt with.
“Ramaphosa said that to get applause and appear in public as if he is doing something about the matter. We wrote a letter to the president to intervene on 6 January, as the president because the buck stops with him. As much this is a collective responsibility of the NEC at the end of the day he is the president,” Mdala said.
When asked on what he thought of Ramaphosa’s leadership, he said he did not want to single him out.
“As a president of the ANC it seems like he is leading a collective that is not equal to the task and the movement is collapsing in front of his eyes. We are not sure whether Ramaphosa is worried or not but there is no sense of urgency regarding staff welfare. For the ANC to lead society, it must first do good internally,” Mdala said.
There are reports that this stay away may affect the ANC in holding their conferences before the deadline of March 22.
“This is not an ordinary stay away where we are complaining about ill-treatment of an employee, but we don't have money to go to work. This affected learners when they were writing exams last year; others could not go to school this year. It is a heartbreaking situation. Some people are receiving eviction notices. Every month when you don’t pay about 10% are adding up and when the ANC pays one’s salary they don’t take that into account. ANC employees are getting poorer and poor,” Mdala said
“This thing is causing havoc even among couples, others are separating, this is bad people are really affected,” he said.
Speaking to Independent Media, Nehawu acting national spokesperson Lwazi Nkolonzi said the union was embarking on other avenues to make sure it forces the ANC to pay workers,
Staff are on an indefinite stay away since 17 January due to non-payment of salaries.
“Recently we wrote to the ANC enquiring when will they pay our members and we have not got any response from them hence we support the struggle of our members. The union is in a process of embarking on other avenues to make sure that it forces the ANC to pay workers what is rightfully theirs,” said Nkolonzi.
He said one can imagine how many months workers had not been paid what is rightfully theirs,
“The situation is dire for our members and we cannot fold our arms as a union. We have said it before that we are going to approach the High Court. Our legal department is currently in a process of drafting papers then filing at the high court to make sure that the ANC pays our members,” Nkolonzi said.
ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe was not available for comment.