ANC salary woes drive crowd-funding initiative as staff continue strike
Share this article:
Johannesburg - The salary woes experienced by the ANC have pushed the party to find innovative ways to raise funds - including crowd-funding.
The ANC staff downed tools on Thursday and vowed to remain on strike until their demands were met.
ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe said on Thursday during a media briefing that the party was experiencing financial challenges.
“Political parties from time to time pick up financial challenges because of growing commitments that they may have. Things have changed now we have the Political Funding Act. It is because of the economic situation we are now finding ourselves in.
“The treasurer-general is looking at various models and innovative ways of organising resources, including crowd-funding, because under these conditions we are taught to also change ways of how we do our own thing. We are confident that the kind of fundraising approach that is being looked at will take the ANC out of the current problem we find ourselves in,” said Mabe.
Related to the cutting of staff, Mabe said this had to do with the whole organisational design, and also checking whether there were no redundancies, making sure that people you have could perform the duties that would be required in the organisation.
He further said the ANC had been struggling to pay salaries of workers for the past few months, which had resulted in a nationwide picket in July.
According to Mabe, members who dish out communications from leadership before asking relevant questions have sought to project that leadership under ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa is failing.
“A strange phenomenon has emerged now, especially because we have social media and all of that, when the ANC account and answer to staff, that it is unable to perform because of the challenges it faces. The expectation is that disciplined staff members would then rather ask for a platform with the ANC to understand how the problem is being resolved,” said Mabe.
ANC staff representative committee chair Mvusi Mdala said workers in all of its offices throughout the nine provinces have been forced to take the difficult decision of downing tools.
“This is due to the hard-line attitude taken by management to continuously disregard concerns raised by staff members during a nationwide picket in June this year. Management made numerous undertakings, both verbally and in writing, to address some of our demands by the end of August 2021,” said Mdala.
Mdala said the past few months have been difficult, and that members have been suffering. Some employees have lost their houses, been evicted from their homes and some had their cars repossessed, while some could not pay school fees for their children. He said their medical aid was suspended on a monthly basis, and when suspended others cannot afford to buy medication.
Mdala said they were aware that leaders were using the Political Party Funding Act and the pandemic as an excuse for this.
“As members of staff we understand the impact of the party funding law, but we are not convinced that we are in this situation because of that. Our problems did not start in April when this act came to effect. Since 2018 the party has not been paying our UIF, whereas they are deducting money from the employees. There was no party funding then, there was no pandemic then.
“We have not received salary increments for the past four years, therefore we are not buying that excuse. We think there is a problem of financial mismanagement,” said Mdala. He said their plan was to continue downing tools until their demands were met.
ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe said he worked at Luthuli House for 10 years and there were times that they got their salaries on day 36 or day 42, but they soldiered on because the source of excitement in the ANC was not really the salary, but the fulfilment that one derived in doing the work for the people.
“Of course when people are not paid, you can’t celebrate that; people must be paid up. The issue is, we are having a situation where they have introduced the Political Party Funding Act.
“The ANC must learn to survive under those conditions, and we are in that painful learning process. We are at school, we are paying the tuition fee throughout this period. It is painful, but I am repeating this: we are hard at work to resolve this and we are going to resolve it,” said Mantashe.