ANC Luthuli House staff ‘forced back into poverty’

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By: The Star

Cape Town – Staff at the ANC headquarters in Luthuli House have been without salaries for two months and said they were being forced back into poverty by the former liberation movement.

A staffer, who did not want to be named, yesterday told The Star’s sister paper, the Daily News, that the ANC had failed to lead at all levels, adding that the party had become the oppressor instead of being the liberator.

She said they were now living in poverty and there was a thin line between being employed and being unemployed, as they continued to suffer. She said this has caused her a great deal of stress.

“It is very difficult to cope. I am now two months behind on my rent, my car has been repossessed and I have not been able to pay my daughter’s school fees. I borrow money from friends for food, but none of this is sustainable.”

When approached for comment yesterday, ANC general manager Febe Potgieter-Gqubule refused to indicate whether the ANC would pay the salaries, but said that the party’s staff would be the first to know if there were plans to remunerate them.

In a staff virtual meeting that Potgieter-Gqubule apparently called earlier this month, Luthuli House made it clear that the party did not have a plan and that the staff’s future hung in the balance.

In March, the party failed to pay the February salaries. In December 2019 and in June last year, the ANC alerted staff that it would not be able to fulfil its obligation to pay salaries on the 25th of those months.

On June 23, the ANC wrote to its employees committing to pay salaries on July 2, but failed to do so.

Last month, during a staff picket and the handing over of a memorandum of demands outside Luthuli House, acting secretary-general Jessie Duarte said the ANC had a plan to manage the outstanding payments.