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ANC remains mum on cost of birthday bash

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This comes amid allegations that the party is battling to pay staff members their salaries.

The ANC continues to remain mum on how much it will fork out for its massive annual birthday bash.

This comes amid allegations that the party is battling to pay staff members their salaries.

This week, the ruling party’s entire top brass spent time drumming up support in Kimberly in the Northern Cape where the party will celebrate 108 years since its formation in 1912.

This time, the rally will be held at the 11-000 seater multi-purpose Tafel Lager Park Stadium also known as Griqua Park.

Speaking in Galeshewe township yesterday, ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile said the party would not disclose the exact cost for the January 8 rally amid allegations that it still owes service provides from it previous January 8 rally held in Durban last year.

“We know how much we have spent for January 8 last year and we don’t make it public and are not going to make it public now. We don’t tell people how much we spent on our elections and January 8. It is a private matter of the ANC,” he said.

Mashatile maintained it was all systems go for the party, adding that overflow areas were in place for the venue which can also hold a total capacity of 25 000 people.

“We are hoping that we can start early because it might be too hot in Kimberly,” he said despite downpours earlier this week.

Mashatile explained that the party had already lined up two key activities for today ( FRI) ahead of the main rally. This includes the presidential golf day and gala dinner where business leaders will rub shoulders with the ANC’s top brass.

“Many business people will be going there to play golf and then in the evening, we will have dinner and the president will speaker on what issues he will be dealing with in the January statement,” Mashatile said.

The former Gauteng provincial chairperson also defended the party’s leadership under President Cyril Ramaphosa from accusations that it was refusing to implement policies of radical socio-economic transformation in government.

“When you implement policy as leadership, you go through phases. You go through engagements and challenges, but there is no retreat. Where there are challenges, we will go back to the NGC (national general council) and say to our members ‘on this one there is this or that stumbling block and maybe instead of doing this way, we go that way’, so we will use the NGC to review the challenges,” Mashatile said.

He also sought to defend the ANC from allegations that it so broke that it was battling to pay its own staff members at Luthuli House.

This comes after it was revealed that last month the party delayed paying salaries before Christmas Day to its employees as it did not have funds to pay them.

Without explaining why the payments were delayed, Mashatile insisted that the ANC’s staff had now been paid for December.

“People are worried about why we did not pay people before Christmas. Remember, we pay salaries on the 25th. The issue of paying before Christmas was that it if we can arrange that, but they have been paid. There is nobody who has not been paid,” he said.

He said the party had never skipped a month without paying its employees.

“There was another story saying we won’t pay people in January because we are wasting money with January 8. There is no such thing,” he said.

He, however, admitted that the party was not financially stable as it depended on membership contributions and funding from private individuals and corporates to pay salaries and execute programmes.