DA lays criminal charges against ANC over alleged unpaid UIF contributions

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Jessie Duarte addresses disgruntled ANC staff.
Jessie Duarte addresses disgruntled ANC staff.
Gallo Images/Papi Morake
  • The DA laid charges against the ANC over UIF contributions.
  • ANC staffers have been in dispute regarding the party's failure to pay salaries.
  • According to the DA, this is illegal - and, if they don't intervene, workers will forego their rights and benefits.

ANC staffers got help from an unexpected source, the DA, in the ongoing labour dispute with their party.

The DA on Tuesday laid a charge against the ANC over the ruling party's alleged failure to pay Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) contributions to the state.

The ANC's staff has been in dispute with the cash-strapped party over its inability to pay their salaries.

One of their claims is that the ANC has been deducting UIF contributions from workers - but, since 2018, it has failed to pay it over.

"If true, this would constitute a criminal offence in terms of the Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act of 2002 and the Tax Administration Act of 2011," DA MPs Michael Cardo and Michael Bagraim said in a joint statement on Tuesday after laying the charges at the Cape Town Central Police Station.

"As the ruling party, the ANC has a special duty to serve as an exemplar to other employers. And as the ANC is being accused of criminal behaviour by its own staff members, the matter requires urgent investigation by SAPS."

READ | ANC resorts to crowdfunding to raise money to pay staff

The DA says the fact that the ANC reportedly owes SARS over R80 million in outstanding PAYE contributions, and an unknown quantum in UIF contributions, reveals "the depths of the ruling party's incompetence and dysfunctionality".

"The ANC shows complete contempt for the institutions of state. If the party can't administer its own payroll properly, then it is not fit to govern or to lead a modern industrial economy."

The DA says it pressed charges with the police because, if the DA does not intervene, workers risk foregoing their rightful benefits.

The statement said:

The ANC is incapable of doing the right thing. In fact, it simply can't get things done – from registering its local government election candidates on time to obeying the very laws it passes in Parliament.

"The ANC should face the consequences for its criminal uselessness, both at the polls in the forthcoming municipal elections and in court."

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

On Monday, ANC staff picketed in all provinces.

"The past three years have been marked by irregular salary payments, the failure to pay the workers' provident fund, the unilateral cancellation of medical aid and the failure to make UIF contributions. These glaring failures by the ANC to secure its staff members cannot be tolerated or treated as normal behaviour," reads a statement from the ANC staff representative committee. 

It added that the ANC complained of a bloated staff complement and yet there were interns and volunteers, who had been working for the organisation for over five years without any form of contract.

"The ANC refuses to treat its staff members as employees, the salient blackmail utilised against workers in relation to their loyalty towards the organisation can no longer be tolerated.

"Certain leaders of the ANC are brazen and reckless enough to suggest that workers must 'soldier on' without salaries, without the ability to buy groceries, pay school fees or rent. They suggest that we must 'soldier on' when our cars are being repossessed, and we are receiving final notices on rent and debts."

Late last month, the ANC started a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to pay its workers.

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