A cash-strapped African National Congress (ANC) ordered its members to transport themselves to the party’s 112th anniversary celebrations, which kick-off in Mbombela today. An insider told Independent Media that the ANC’s Fezile Dabi region in the Northern Free State had informed its supporters that it won’t be ferrying them to Mbombela come Saturday the 13th.
“The organisation is broke, we don’t have money to pay for buses to take our people to our own celebration. We really don’t have the means, and our biggest headache at the moment is the campaign funds,” said the insider.
The insider said the current situation made it more difficult for the organisation to campaign effectively in the region as they were going against the organisation’s former Secretary General Ace Magashule’s African Congress for Transformation (ACT) party.
The source said Magashule’s organisation was gaining traction in the region as the majority of communities in the district were sympathetic to him.
The regional acting Secretary, Isaac Ngozo, confirmed via the Party’s communique that it won’t be transporting its members to Mbombela.
Ngozo cited the reason for not ferrying members to the celebration as wanting to prioritise the upcoming voter registration campaign that is scheduled for the first week of February 2024.
“As things stand, the region has serious financial constraints that need strict and careful utilisation in order to have election machinery that runs smoothly without any disturbance. It is within this practical consideration that the Regional Working Committee (RWC) could not organise transportation for our branches who could have wanted to join thousands of other members celebrating this important event in the calendar of our Liberation Movement,” Ngozo said.
He alluded that the region was also aware of members who had organised their own transportation to attend the celebrations.
The provincial spokesperson, Jabu Mbalula, confirmed that the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) in the province was aware of the situation.
Mbalula said the PEC did not issue instructions to all its lower structures to provide transportation for their members.
“Our members will take themselves to Mbombela individually if they want to attend the January 8 statement,” he added.
At the moment, it’s not clear if the decision of members ferrying themselves to the January 8 celebration affects only the Free State or the entire country.
Attempts to solicit a comment from the ANC’s national spokesperson, Mahlengi Bhengu, were unsuccessful as she did not respond to media queries.
This cash flow shortage comes after the party reached an out-of-court settlement with Ezulwini Investments over the R102 million election posters contract.
Late last year the sheriff’s office raided the party’s headquarters at Luthuli House in Johannesburg in an attempt to settle the debt.