The DA is looking into the possibility of retrenching more staff to create a structure that is more suitable to its needs. The decision will be made before the end of the party’s financial year next month.
In a letter to its employees, dated February 11, the party explained that its federal council was undergoing a review process and would be “restructuring”, a move that could see the party cut down on jobs.
“We will soon meet with employees who may be affected by this process, and we remain committed to engaging openly to reach the best possible outcome,” the letter read.
DA federal finance chairperson Dion George told City Press that the party was working on finalising its new structure, after which it would be able to determine exactly how many employees would be axed.
George said this was standard practice in the organisation, especially after elections.
He added that the process was not due to financial difficulties in the party – in fact, the DA had been able to attract investors even after it lost a substantial amount of support in last year’s general elections.
“We fully funded our elections for 2019. We are on track for the 2020/21 budget process, which we have started. We have operated without a deficit. Financially, the DA is not in a crisis. Our donations are robust,” he said.
The organisational review steering committee will meet on Friday to work out exactly how the restructuring will unfold. Thereafter, their suggestions will be sent to the DA’s highest decision-making body, the federal executive, which will have the difficult task of making the final decision.
“We are looking critically at every part of the organisation, not only at the political structures, but also at the operational structures. So what we are doing is asking if the decision-making structures of the body are correct. Then, on the operational side, we are looking at each of the directors to see if we are properly aligned. It may well result in organisational changes,” he said.
In the Eastern Cape, DA employees were informed that professional staff would be receiving a letter from the party’s federal head office regarding their fate.
The letter, which was sent by provincial leader Nqaba Bhanga, informed employees that the process would be handled as “fairly as possible and with advice from the human resources department”.
“Please allow the process to run its course without any panic or speculation. Please feel free to contact me at any time if you require further clarity,” Bhanga wrote in the letter.
This is the second time in the past six months that the official opposition party finds itself having to axe employees.
In September, the party retrenched 51 employees after the poor election results.
“Those retrenchments had more to do with the party’s financial position – the overheads and the salaries were just too big. Our structure got a bit bloated, especially over the election period,” George said.
Political journalist | City Press
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