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S/Africa: Ruling ANC in cash squeeze, fails to settle salaries

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) is facing a cash flow, leading the party in failing to pay its employees on time since May this year, Treasurer-General Paul Mashatile confirmed on Tuesday.The unpaid salaries have led the employees to threaten a nationwide strike this week in efforts to force the organisation to make good on its commitment to them, the workers said.

Responding to the threats of the industrial action, Mashatile said the ANC’s failure to pay its workers on time was brought about by the coronavirus pandemic since most of its funding came from donors.

These donors, who rely on various businesses, have seen income from their undertakings reduced due to the pandemic, thereby affecting the party as well, the Treasurer-General said.

In addition, the party has lost most of its funders due to a new party funding law which requires disclosure of donations given to political parties if they exceed $7,000 per donor, Mashatile said.

He added: “We are struggling with cash flow. The ANC has never really had an abundance of cash. We’ve always depended on donors, and since the pandemic, funding has been coming very slow because companies are not doing so well.” 

“Some of them have closed down. It’s a difficult environment but we do try our best to raise funds on our own but sometimes we get funding a bit late and we end up paying salaries late,” Mashatile said.

According to him, “in the current economic environment, it has not been easy to get any returns as most of our party’s business investments are also affected.” 

“But there is another problem now. The new law which requires disclosure beyond $7,000 you donate to a political party must disclosed, has left some donors uncomfortable. So, they are slowly pulling back and we are struggling in that regard,” he said. 

Dozens of protesting workers are expected to hand over their memorandum of demands at the party’s headquarters in Luthuli House in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

Published on 10.02.2021

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