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ANC staff on indefinite stay away until issues are resolved

ANC staff members during a protest outside the party’s offices in Cape Town. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

ANC staff members during a protest outside the party’s offices in Cape Town. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Jan 21, 2022

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By: Kamogelo Moichela and Ntombi Nkosi

Johannesburg - The ANC staff is still on stay away because of the non-payment of salaries.

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The ANC has, over the last few months, been battling to pay its employees.

ANC Staff Chairperson Mvusi Mdala confirmed on Friday that they are on a stay away, and it started on January 17. "We will stay away until all our issues are resolved. It's not a stay away for a week. It's indefinite. We will stay away even next week unless we are paid," he said.

Mdala said unless the ANC leadership meets with them, there are issues that they cannot compromise on, and even the question of salaries cannot be compromised and "the other thing that we are not going to compromise this time is the question of a written response on our demand.“

"The African National Congress staff members would like to express their great disappointment at the conduct of our national leadership for failing to adequately deal with our long-standing labour issues," the ANC staff committee said in a statement.

The committee said their workers went for months without being paid their salaries, as per contractual obligation, the provident fund has not been paid since 2018, and medical aids are suspended periodically due to the non-payment.

The staff representatives said their meeting with the National Executive Committee was when they picketed outside the venue where the NEC had a meeting last November. "For the first time, the leadership received a formal report over the issue of unpaid salaries as well as a plan by the Treasurer General‘s office to settle all outstanding salaries of over three months at the time," said the committee.

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"The plan was supposed to arrest cash flow problems and also provide certainty into future salaries. While some of the salaries have been paid, the promise of a full settlement has not been honoured. In fact all indications are that Tuesday, 25th January 2022, will mark three months of non-payment of salaries for hard working men and women who have put their lives to a halt to play their part in ensuring that the ANC’s administration arm functions in full steam," the committee explained.

On President Cyril Ramaphosa's statement on salaries on January 8, Mdala said the apology does not mean they care. There is no commitment as to when they would address workers challenges. “Remember, we handed over our memorandum on June 15, 2021. To date, no written commitment from the ANC leadership in addressing those demands contained in the memo.

"November and December salaries are still outstanding. ANC staff members won't be able to buy stationery and uniform for their kids. Apologies without commitment won't be accepted by schools," said Mdala.

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"We are quite frankly disgusted by the divide and rule tactics which amount to nothing but an attempt to weaken and undermine the unity of the workers. The leadership has endorsed a decision to place some of the staff members under the care of provinces in terms of financial resources.

"This means ANC staff members in those provinces are receiving their salaries, and this could potentially weaken efforts to put pressure on management to attend to our demands. Even worse, some staff members are allegedly receiving stacks of hard cash in brown envelopes in exchange for their labour and loyalty as the majority of us continue to drown in a pool of poverty," said the committee in a statement.

Mdala said the ANC leadership is misleading the public on the issue of salaries. "It is not the first time they have been doing this. They have been doing that since last year, if it was on the plan that they said they have. Today, we are not supposed to be where we are," he stated.

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