ANC salary woes: party hits back over ongoing staff disputes
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Johannesburg/Cape Town - The ANC’s salary woes have continued to be a thorny issue for the party.
ANC Western Cape convenor Lerumo Kalako on Wednesday said the non-payment of salaries affected the confidence staff members had in the party, and this, he said, had a direct impact on campaigning, which in turn could also affect voting numbers.
The party’s staff representative Mvusi Mdlala told Independent Media that it would be impossible for employees to assist with groundwork if their basic salary needs were not met.
In essence, this means that ANC staff have refused to participate in any campaigning activity in the run-up to the November 1 local government elections.
Nationally, about 247 staff members are affected.
Mdala said that in the Western Cape, 14 staff, six regional secretaries and one provincial co-ordinator had not received their salaries.
The workers were apparently promised their pay last week, but this has not happened to date, according to an employee who requested anonymity.
“We received a letter from the general manager, Febe Potgieter, stating that the ANC would not be able to pay the salaries, but hopefully they would be in a position to pay them soon,” the person said.
“We are withholding our labour. People have had cars repossessed, people can't afford to pay school fees, bonds, rent … people are going hungry and starving, so you can’t expect someone in that situation to work.”
Axed ANC employee Carl Niehaus and another employee, McDonald Mathabe, on Wednesday filed a criminal charge against the party and its senior leaders at Johannesburg Central police station.
The charges come after the governing party failed to pay salaries and UIF for almost three months.
But ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe hit back at the charges, saying some of the members who were opening cases against the party had not apply for their jobs, but were head-hunted.
“They were brought to deal with whatever situations that they might be facing at the time; they didn't apply, even if you can ask for their certificates. The ANC does everything it can to care for its cadres, and to explain its reasons to it’s comrades where it is unable to deal with a number of things. There is a case now being brought, and I am sure that when investigators approach the ANC, the party will be able to state its own case,” said Mabe.
He added that those who opened cases must produce records on how they have been performing.
Earlier on Wednesday, Niehaus told journalists that he worked at the office of suspended secretary-general Ace Magashule.
“If he works at the office of the secretary-general, no problem. He must then tell the police what he did in the past 60 days or in the past 24 hours. If he works for the ANC he must tell us what he does on a daily basis. Does attending courts and going all over breaking Covid-19 regulations associate work with the S-G’s office? we see Niehaus on television, not in Luthuli House,” said Mabe.
Mabe was speaking during a press briefing at which he addressed a number of issues affecting the ANC, including Niehaus and other employees who had opened the criminal case.
Mabe said the party would attend to issues raised formally with the party.
“The ANC is capable of dealing with whatever issue that comes before it,” he said.
Meanwhile, more than 100 ANC members from three provinces protested outside Luthuli House, complaining about issues of alleged manipulation of processes when it comes to the selection of candidates.
Mabe said members must have confidence in ANC processes because when one adjudicated disputes in the ANC, you had to make sure that what ultimately prevails was the ANC itself.
“The process of the ANC of selecting councillor candidates for the 2021 elections is quite different to what what has been happening throughout the years. For the first time this year, communities are having to participate in who finally becomes a representative in their own wards, it is no longer a process left entirely to our own branches,” he said.