Financial watchdog says ANC must pay R10m a month to clear staff retirement fund arrears

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The African National Congress Staff Provident Fund owes millions of rands in retirement contributions.
The African National Congress Staff Provident Fund owes millions of rands in retirement contributions.
Mlungisi Louw
  • SA's financial regulator says the ANC has not been meeting its obligations to make regular retirement contributions for its staff.  
  • The FSCA says it has reached an agreement with the ANC staff provident fund for the governing party to pay R10 million per month into the fund. 
  • The ANC has been struggling to pay its staff their salaries on time. 
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South Africa's financial watchdog says it has reached an agreement with a pension fund for ANC employees to get the party to pay it R10 million a month until its arrears are cleared. 

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) said on Thursday that the party had not been paying contributions to its staff provident fund, which has 535 members.

"The African National Congress, which is a participating employer in the fund, has not met its obligations in terms of making regular retirement fund contributions into the fund," it said. 

The governing party has occasionally struggled to pay salaries to its staff on time. In January, some staff members picketed outside its headquarters at Luthuli House over outstanding wages. Last month members of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union again accused the party of not paying salaries on time. 

The FSCA announcement shows that the party has also been deficient in paying contributions to the pension funds of employees. 

The watchdog said it had reached an enforceable undertaking with the fund to implement an agreement it has with the ANC to pay R10 million into the fund every month "until the arrear contributions are extinguished". 

The fund will also need to provide monthly updates to the FSCA about things like deductions from employees' salaries and how much it still needs to pay. 

It also needs to provide monthly updates to members on the status of the arrear contributions.

READ | Unpaid ANC staff threaten court action, start go-slow ahead of party's policy conference

Mvusi Mdala, a representative of ANC employees, said if the party did indeed pay the R10 million per month as outlined in the agreement, he hoped it would not come "at the further expense" of employees.

ANC staff members had still not been paid their salaries for July, he said, which he described as an "unbearable situation". 

He said employees also didn't know when or whether they would receive their August salaries.

FSCA commissioner Unathi Kamlana said in a statement that the onus on ensuring that there are no arrear contributions rested with the trustees of a fund. 

"Both employers and funds are reminded of the importance of treating their workers and members fairly by honouring their obligations as enshrined in various legislation," he said. 

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe reportedly joked in July that "if the ANC was running a cash-in-transit heist", it would be able to say with certainty that "robberies" would give it enough cash to cover its staff's salaries.

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