KZN ANC’s big bucks

2012-05-15 00:00

THE ANC in KwaZulu-Natal is flush with cash and is not shy to spend, splashing out R3 million upfront to cover rent for its headquarters till 2017.

This is contained in Peggy Nkonyeni’s financial report presented at the ANC provincial conference in Newcastle, where she was re-elected as treasurer.

The party’s financial statements were audited by Manase and Associates, the same firm that conducted the forensic investigation into eThekwini Metro.

The KZN ANC’s healthy bank balance is in sharp contrast to those of other provinces such as the Western Cape and Limpopo, which are reportedly struggling to meet their financial obligations.

The Limpopo ANC was in the news recently when its employees told the Sowetan that they were not paid their salaries in January or their December bonuses.

The ANC in the province even accepted a donation cattle from local traditional leaders as a form of financial support.

The Western Cape ANC recently defaulted on a court judgment ordering it to settle a R1,8 million bill for hiring the Cape Town International Convention Centre for its provincial congress in February last year.

There have been questions as well about Luthuli House’s liquidity after a company that held a major contract with the ANC for its January 8 celebration this year claimed it was owed R10 million.

This was dismissed by ANC national treasurer Mathews Phosa.

In KZN, however, it seems donations have been pouring in.

Private donations to the party shot up from R7,3 million in 2009 to R16,3 million in 2010, dropping to R1,5 million in 2011 and shooting back up again to R8 million for the financial year ending in March 2012.

In 2008 the organisation received a measly R334 640 in donations.

The drop in donations between 2010 and 2011 shrank the ANC’s kitty from R18,7 million to R6,9 million, but due to the R8 million received for the 2011/12 financial year, the bank balance has improved to R11,5 million.

Nkonyeni said private funding was a challenge because private donors sometimes had expectations from the ruling party. “This has very detrimental effects for both our organisation and the people we lead,” she added.

In August 2010 the ANC admitted receiving R1 million from Uruguayan businessman Gaston Savoi who was arrested with others accused in the “Amigos” case, including Nkonyeni and Economic Development MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu.

“The money will be returned to the donor if we find that it was obtained through illegal or corrupt activities,” ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala told reporters at the time.

Nkonyeni’s report, however, contained no information about returned donations.

She referred to some of the challenges that were frustrating the ANC’s efforts to create a thriving and financial viable organisation in KZN.

These included the reluctance of financial institutions to fund political parties, as well as the fact the ruling party was under scrutiny from opposition and political watchdogs “in an attempt to frustrate any efforts and strategies we use in sourcing funding”.

In the same breath, Nkonyeni said that while the 2008 provincial conference had mandated the party’s leadership to raise R11,8 million for the general election, around R30 million had in fact been raised for the campaign.

Among the report’s recommendations are that political party funding policy should be rolled out to local government and that Independent Electoral Commission funding for political parties represented in parliament and the legislatures should be increased.

Nkonyeni noted that the financial statements had received a qualified audit outcome because of “sponsorhips received and not declared by the donors”.

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