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Cape Town – Cosatu has come out in support of striking ANC workers as the labour federation says it expects the ruling party to conduct itself in an “exemplary manner”.
ANC workers have been on strike since Thursday following the non-payment of their salaries and have vowed to continue their strike until their demands were met.
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) said it has instituted a litigation process to ensure that the ANC staff received their money.
A crowdfunding initiative was launched by the ANC with the aim of raising funds that might assist it to pay employees who have not received their salaries.
In June, disgruntled workers took to the streets after staff members were informed in April that their salaries would be late.
Last week, the party’s general manager, Febe Potgieter, indicated that the ANC’s finances were not in a good shape to pay the staff members.
Salaries for July and August were also not paid.
At the weekend, the party shared a post, including banking details, on social media platforms, asking members of the public and ANC supporters to make contributions to a Nedbank account.
ANC’s staff representative chairperson, Mvusi Mdala, last week reiterated that workers would not return to work until they received their salaries.
The ruling party’s financial woes started in December 2019, and the situation worsened in April and June this year.
Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla emphasised that the workers were not volunteers, as they have signed contracts. “They [the workers] keep their end of the bargain, and the ANC has to honour that.
“Our union, Nehawu, are assisting those workers on how to facilitate their fight. Nehawu has made it very clear that they’ve been trying to engage with the ANC for some time and also indicated that they will explore legal avenues, if possible,” said Pamla.
Nehawu’s acting spokesperson, Lwazi Nkolonzi, said with the litigation process, the intention was to look at valuables, such as properties and cars, that could be turned into funds to ensure that the workers got what they were owed.
“As Nehawu, we find it totally unacceptable in how the ANC has treated these workers. How does the ANC expect these workers and their families to survive during these tough economic times that have brought economic hardship to all workers? The late payment of salaries has resulted in these workers being on the verge of losing all that they have worked for. They face a stark reality of banks/financial institutions repossessing their cars, homes, etc as a result of defaulting on payments brought about by the failure to pay salaries on time by the ANC,” said Nkolonzi.
The ANC’s national spokesperson, Pule Mabe, said that since the media reported about the cash flow difficulties experienced by the movement, the ANC’s treasurer general has been inundated by members and supporters who want to lend a helping hand.
“We are hopeful that the plan will generate active interest in the sustenance of the organisation.
“We are encouraged by the initial response, and we hope to continue to grow participation.
“The Political Party Funding Act requires declaration of all donations of R100 000 and above, and the ANC will declare such donations to the IEC,” said Mabe in a statement.