These sentiments are shared by, among others, the staff of the governing party at its headquarters in Johannesburg, Luthuli House.
Yesterday, the chairperson of the committee representing ANC staff members, Mvusi Mdala, painted a grim picture of how failure by the governing party to remunerate its employees had adversely affected their lives.
Mdala said the last few months had been tough as some staff members had lost their houses, some were evicted from their homes and have had their cars repossessed, while others were unable to pay for their children’s school fees.
He said even medical aids were suspended and they could not afford to buy medication.
Mdala claimed that they were aware that leaders were using the Political Party Funding Act and the pandemic as an excuse for failure to pay their salaries.
“As members of staff, we under-stand the impact of the party fund-ing act 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 into 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 incre-ments for the past four years, therefore, we are not buying that excuse. We think there is a problem of financial mismanagement,” he said.
Mdala said they plan to down tools until their demands are met.
Meanwhile, ANC NEC member Gwede Mantashe said he worked at Luthuli House for 10 years and there were times when they got their salaries on day 36 or day 42, but they soldiered on because the source of excitement in the party was the fulfilment that you derived from doing the work for the people.
Some staff members, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they were convinced that Ramaphosa, Paul Mashatile (treasurer-general), Jessie Duarte (deputy secretary-general), and the rest of the Top Six were drawing salaries every month “without fail”.
Speaking on POWER Breakfast early last month, Mashatile said that be-cause of the financial strain the political party was enduring, retrenchments could be in the pipe-line.
Luthuli House halted operations for the rest of the day.
“Political parties from time to time pick up financial challenges because of growing commitments that they may have. Things have changed now that 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,” ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe said.
He insisted that salary issues at Luthuli House had been communicated on with employees.
He further said the party had been struggling to pay salaries of workers for the past few months, which 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 Ramaphosa was 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 be-ing resolved,” said Mabe.