ANC staffers say outcry over salaries isn't political, as Duarte admits 'there just is no money'

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Jessie Duarte.
Jessie Duarte.
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  • The body representing ANC employees says the party's failure to listen to their demands could cost it ahead of the local government elections.
  • The disgruntled workers say their move to strike is not to undermine President Cyril Ramaphosa, but to exercise their rights.
  • The ANC could find itself in a legal battle if it fails to meet their demands.

The leader of the ANC's Staff Representative Committee (SRC), Mdala Mvusi, has dismissed suggestions that raising grievances was a political ploy to undermine President Cyril Ramaphosa, as a "fallacy and a diversion".

On Friday, Mvusi said the allegations were aimed a discrediting the disgruntled ANC employees.

"It must also be clarified that fundraising is not a function of the Presidency in the ANC. We frown upon these laughable hypocritical insinuations. The national spokesperson is also a staff member at our head office and we are fighting for his rights as well," he said.

"It, therefore, becomes important that he communicates the ANC message around the industrial action, with the highest form of sensitivity to the plight of the rest of staff members."

READ | ANC staffers down tools from Thursday over unpaid salaries

ANC employees have now pinned their hopes on the party's national leaders, hoping they can negotiate a way forward before the situation escalates further.

The SRC said it was willing to negotiate with the ANC over the outstanding salary payments. However, the party hadn’t reached out to employees yet.

Mvusi said:

So far, we’ve not heard anything that they [the ANC national leadership] want to negotiate. Because the first step when you embarking on such action as ours now is to negotiate. That’s the first step. So far, we’ve not been called, but we are willing to negotiate so that their action is resolved.

But on Friday, during an interview on the Clement Manyatela Show on 702, the party's deputy secretary-general, Jessie Duarte, said the ANC had no money to pay its staff.

"We just don’t have money, As management, we haven’t been paid since May. We are considering crowdfunding from members. There is just no money," she said.

READ | Unpaid, disgruntled ANC staffers plan to disturb party's local election campaigning

Mvusi added that the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) and the ANC’s management were in the process of signing an agreement of recognition.

However, he refused to disclose if ANC staffers would be taking the party to the court over the matter.

”Until that process is concluded, we’ll take it from there, so that staffer members of the ANC are represented by the union," he said.

Employees said the ANC had to respond to their urgent concerns if it didn’t want its local government election preparations to be disturbed, with staffers potentially refusing to come to work to assist with campaigning.

"We believe that it’s going to have an impact, hence we calling upon management to resolve this issue. I’m moving forward we going to contribute to ensuring that on the 27 October the ANC receives a resounding victory in terms of elections. That’s why we saying that we want a speedy resolution of the matter," Mvusi said.

Nehawu support

Meanwhile, Nehawu said it stood in solidarity with its members and all ANC employees in their fight for improved conditions of service and salary payments.On Thursday evening, the union said it had advised the ANC that it would be be taking legal action on behalf of its members to get their salaries paid. 

General secretary Zola Saphetha said: "As Nehawu, we call on the African National Congress to immediately pay workers their salaries, contribute and payment to the Provident Fund and also to contribute to their Unemployment Insurance Fund."

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