Picture: Phill Magakoe/African News Agency (ANA)
Political analysts have attributed the embarrassing delays of the ANC in paying December salaries for its staff across the country to a rise in factional funding, mismanagement and failure to transform.

The party was late on Monday still scrambling to pay the salaries of the workers and when asked when it would pay them, said it did not discuss internal staff members with the media.

Xolani Dube, a political analyst with the Xubera Institute, said the delays signalled that the party was broke, but that it was suspicious that it was in such a situation when some individuals had more money than the organisation.

According to Dube, the reason the party’s coffers were empty was that some donors had moved away from donating to the party and instead were donating to individuals.

“Any business person would rather invest in individuals than in the whole organisation. What is happening in the ANC is a clear indication that people are there for themselves, not the organisation,” Dube said.

He added that the alleged looting and financial mismanagement in the public sector might have spilt down to the party’s structures.

Another independent analyst, Thabani Khumalo, said the problem could be with mismanagement and factionalism. He said it appeared there was no co-operation between the office of party president, treasurer-general and secretary-general.

“That failure to transform the administration of the ANC has created a loophole with the party structures whereby members are manipulating their position to build their profiles and get access to government positions,” he said.

“If you visit ANC branches, you find treasurers raising more money for themselves and their own political ambitions than raising money for the ANC. Even factions have huge reserves for their narrow ambitions.”

Amid the financial crunch, the party was going ahead with its big bash to celebrate its 108 birthday in Kimberly in the Northern Cape on January 11. Khumalo said the party could save plenty of money if it cut down on such bashes without downplaying the significance of the day.

However, Khumalo said that could only happen if the party could stop operating like a movement in exile and transform to employ professionals to run its affairs. “Once they have a professional administration, they’ll realise that some of their events need to be downgraded and structured in a way that they still allow them to interact with the masses without spending a fortune,” he said.

The party’s spokesperson, Pule Mabe, did not respond to questions about when the salaries would be paid.

Political Bureau