Luthuli House staffers threaten to derail ANC policy conference over unpaid salaries

Preparations for the much-awaited ANC policy conference are likely to be thrown into disarray after employees based at the party’s Luthuli House headquarters threatened to boycott its planning meetings in protest of the governing party’s failure to pay their June salaries.

The policy conference, which is scheduled to take place at Nasrec in Gauteng on July 29, is expected to be attended by thousands of delegates.

The employees have vowed not to attend meetings to discuss the logistics of the event if their salaries are not paid by the end of this week.

Threats to throw conference preparations into disarray come hardly a week after the full bench of the Gauteng High Court ordered the party to pay a whopping R120 million it owes to a KwaZulu/Natal based marketing company (Ezulweni Investments) which supplied and erected PVC banners for the ruling party in the lead up to the 2019 general elections.

Ezulweni Investments has threatened to initiate liquidation proceedings against the ANC if the party failed to pay the money owed. This could also throw the organisations’ preparations for the policy indaba further into chaos.

Four Luthuli House employees, who did not want to be named because they are not allowed to speak to the media, said the broke liberation movement failed to pay their June salaries, which were due on June 25.

“They told us that we will receive our salaries on June 30 but failed to pay us,” said one of the employees.

The employee said when they enquired from the office general manager, Febe Potgieter, they were assured that their salaries would be paid on June 31.

“But we did not receive anything, today it is the 9th of July and there is no money in our accounts. Our debit orders have bounced. We could not pay school fees for our kids, buy groceries for our families, or even pay bonds for our houses or car instalments.

“How do we attend meetings when our houses and vehicles are on the brink of being repossessed?” asked the aggrieved employee.

“We have taken a decision that we are not going to attend any meetings to discuss logistics for the policy conference because we don’t have money for petrol to go to those meetings,” the employee said.

“This will affect the preparations for the policy conference because we are supposed make sure the venue is prepared and safe (security is tight at the venue); that access cards for delegates are there; that transport is available; and that delegates are catered for and accommodated. But how are we going to do that without resources and when we are hungry?

“If they don’t pay us our June salaries, this policy conference is likely to collapse or be shambolic.”

Another employee said they have asked Potgieter if their salaries will be paid before the end of next week, but she said there is no prospect as the party’s coffers are dry.

“We have lost hope, this party is dying. This means there will be no money to organise the national general council, which some members are demanding must sit before the national elective conference in December. There were suggestions that the two should be held simultaneously but that was shot down, seemingly because it was going to be too expensive as delegates were going to be here in Gauteng for a longer period,” said the employee.

Another employee confirmed that they will boycott preparatory meetings but would not collapse the conference.

“Luthuli House has 200 employees, and the ANC has two million members. The ANC liberated the people of this country with volunteers and those volunteers will chip in and
assist in organising conference,” said the employee.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said it is aware of the plight of its employees and said the office of treasurer-general Paul Mashatile, together with the fund-raising team, are working around the clock to secure funds to pay the outstanding salaries.

“The biggest problem was the Political Party Funding Act, which has placed a ceiling on the amount of money that could be donated to parties,” Mabe said. “We hope that when it is
reviewed, the financial problems of the ANC will be resolved. Also, the revelations by the Zondo commission have forced the funding community to view the ANC differently.”

To read more political news and views, click here.

Follow @SundayWorldZA on Twitter and @sundayworldza on Instagram, or like our Facebook Page, Sunday World, by clicking here for the latest breaking news in South Africa. To Subscribe to Sunday World, click here.

Latest News