What will ANC’s quid pro quo be after 2019?

2017-01-29 06:09
President Jacob Zuma, deputy Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Gauteng chairperson Paul Mashatile wave to ANC supporters as they enter the FNB stadium at the party's Gauteng manifesto launch. Picture: Leon Sadiki/City Press

President Jacob Zuma, deputy Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Gauteng chairperson Paul Mashatile wave to ANC supporters as they enter the FNB stadium at the party's Gauteng manifesto launch. Picture: Leon Sadiki/City Press

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Recent events hosted by the ANC, along with its women’s and youth leagues, have been marred by controversies centred mainly on unpaid service providers.

At times, payments were made late; at other times, not at all.

Some contractors bravely took legal recourse against the once-glorious movement to demand their due.

But most chose to settle out of court for fear of victimisation that they would end up not being given a contract by the party – and, by extension, the ANC-led government.

Not only is the party in charge of the country, it also governs eight of its nine provinces and was – until the August 2016 municipal elections – in control of all but one of the metros.

This massive reach brought fear to service providers that a fight with the ANC as a party would extend to government – a significant source of income for many small businesses.

So, this week’s revelations of the ANC’s so-called covert War Room campaign – in which, it is alleged, R50 million was to be spent to ensure the party’s victory at the August polls, along with the court challenge brought by publicist Sihle Bolani against the party, has called into question the future of service providers.

The morality of what the ANC did or did not intend to do with the War Room has been addressed extensively this week.

So, let us look at the lengths Bolani went through to protect the hand that feeds her – the ANC et al.

For her work, Bolani was to be paid R2.2 million. But when the money was not forthcoming, she engaged with her employer and even agreed to lower her fee.

Still the party failed to honour the agreement. Months passed. Eventually, Bolani decided to go to court.

The case will be heard at a later date.

The ANC first denied having had any dealings with her, despite party general manager Ignatius Jacobs admitting that she had volunteered to work for the party in the lead-up to the polls.

It then said it was dealing with the matter, whatever that means.

With 2019 national and provincial elections looming, it is time for the ANC to ask itself if it can continue to treat Bolani and other small, mostly black, businesses in this manner.

As is evident already, the loss of the Tshwane, Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay metros has affected service providers who may have received their jobs through connections with the ANC top brass.

Should the ANC lose control of more provinces, it will also lose the patronage it was able to dish out to businesses amenable to the party. Such businesses are unlikely to survive.

Follow me on Twitter @DumisaneLubisi

Read more on:    sihle bolani  |  ignatius jacobs  |  war room

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