“We doubt that all outstanding salaries would be paid before Christmas. It is a black Christmas for us”
ANC staff members say they hope the next few days will bring good news for them amid failure by the ruling party to pay their salaries.
Their comments come as thousands of them face a bleak Christmas following the non-payment of their salaries.
“But we have not lost hope. We still have a few days to go before Christmas. We will give up on December 24, if we don’t get any money. We doubt that all outstanding salaries would be paid before Christmas. It is a black Christmas for us. It is hurting,” said ANC staff representative spokesperson Mvusi Mdala on Tuesday.
On November 30, ANC General Manager Febe Potgieter issued a letter to staff members informing them that there was a delay in payment. In the letter, she guaranteed staff that they would be paid on 15 December, but that did not happen.
In an interview with IOL News, staff member Tiisetso Mohlomi, ANC Mail Clerk at Luthuli House in Joburg, said not receiving a salary for more than three months has caused a lot of damage to their lives.
“I have been working for the ANC for more than 15 years, and none of this has ever happened. Our current challenge started in 2018 where our salaries came very late. Going to 2019 and 2020, matters got out of hand, but now the situation is disappointing as we are three months into not getting paid,” added Mohlomi.
He further said “It is very difficult for us to survive. UIF and the provident fund have not been paid since 2018. We owe bonds, cars, life and funeral cover policies have lapsed. We are in a serious mess as the ANC staff.”
Mohlomi said even though the party was facing a financial crisis, it should somehow meet workers halfway.
“We want the leadership or management to have an understanding with us that it is very tough, we want them to pay the provident fund, UIF and pay all the salaries they are owing us and to make sure that there is a grading policy in the ANC so that everything is aligned with labour relation act and equity act,” he said.
The non-payment of salaries has affected ANC employees in all provinces of South Africa.
In Mpumalanga, ANC staff representative, France “franco” Phahlane confirmed that from the updated report he got, all staffers (permanent and temporary) received their salaries for August and September.
“We like to thank the decisive response from the leadership of the province in making sure that they take massive intervention in this matter of salaries. However, there are other issues that remain a thorn in the flesh and cannot be undertaken by the province Hence, our challenges cut across all the provinces, national office and including regional offices,” Phahlane said.
He said employees might be paid for the remaining months, if all goes well.
“It is very scary and depressing, imagine a breadwinner, the only working member in the family, and it happens that you pass on and your family cannot even access your funds (UIF and provident fund) that will benefit them. It is painful indeed,” Phahlane concluded.
ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe declined to discuss the matter,
“Salary issues are an internal matter and are discussed with relevant staff representatives, not with the media,” Mabe said.
Meanwhile, Sars would not comment on whether the ANC’s salaries woes and how this affected revenue collection.
“Due to Chapter 6 of the Tax Administration Act, Sars is not permitted to divulge confidential taxpayer information,” Sars spokesperson Anton Fisher told IOL.
The UIF and Provident Fund could not be reached for comment.
In September this year, spokesperson for the disbanded MKMVA, Carl Niehaus and other aggrieved staff members opened a criminal case against ANC and senior leaders, including President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“The NPA, in terms of that criminal case, has written a letter requesting from the ANC to provide them with the rest of the information about staff and deduction. The ANC wrote back and said they are not prepared to cooperate,” said Niehaus.
He said that on December 15, he had a conversation with one of the investigators in the matter and that he would be accompanying the officer to the Johannesburg Central Magistrates Court to get a subpoena for that information.
“The NPA is filing for a subpoena, but they asked me and McDonald Mathabe as the complainants to join. We will be in court this coming Monday getting a subpoena against the ANC to give the information,” Niehaus said.
“The ANC is refusing to cooperate. We are not allowed to be intimidated by nonsense,” he said.