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We do not have ghost workers, Duarte tells ANC staffers picketing outside Luthuli House

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said the concerns which staffers raised were legitimate and recognised by the party.Duarte added the staffers had received confirmatory SMSes that their May salaries were paid on Tuesday.The party said its cash flow issues stemmed from numerous challenges, including the Party Political Funding Act.

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte has revealed the party does not have ghost workers but “old” employees who had been on the organisation’s payroll for a while.

The party said it would review the matter and ensure it had staff members who did a full-time job.

Duarte added the ANC was in the process of doing a second internal staff audit, saying:

Over the years, when terms of officials at various levels have ended, we have chosen not to terminate the staff of office bearers, because this was the right thing to do.

Fifteen days into the new month, the party only announced on Tuesday that staffers had received confirmatory SMSes that their May salaries had been transacted.

Duarte said the salary cash flow problems the organisation faced were a result of many challenges the party had encounted, including the implementation of the Party Political Funding Act, since April this year, as well as an urgent need to modernise the ANC’s operational and funding models.

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“I’m sure this morning many of you received an SMS showing that your salaries were paid today. The difficult situation faced by the staff and ANC as a movement will require sober and decisive actions. We are going to conclude the process of addressing the situation head-on within the shortest space of time.”

Her remarks come in the wake of a move taken by disgruntled ANC staffers to picket outside Luthuli House in Johannesburg to address some of the issues which affected their livelihoods, including not receiving their salaries on time.

On Tuesday, staffers demanded the ANC pay its outstanding UIF and provident fund by the end of July.

They said they would intensify their protests if the party did not respond to their demands within the given period. They handed their memorandum to Duarte with a list of their pressing concerns.

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Speaking to 702 talk show host Clement Manyathela on Monday, ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile, once again, denied claims the party was bankrupt.

Mashatile said cutting down on the number of ANC staffers was imminent and the only way the party could survive on a sustainable budget.

However, Duarte assured the workers outside the party’s headquarters that the ANC was doing everything it could to ensure its financial woes would not continue to affect them.

She assured them salaries would not be reduced and if the party needed to retrench, it would be done after consultation with the staff representatives as the labour law prescribed.

The party said it had a plan in place to manage the outstanding payments which included the provident fund and all other third parties contributions.

It, however, did not assure staff members that they would receive their salaries on the 30th of each month as promised previously.

“We are committed to paying staff salaries. And while payment will not be at the end of the month, every month, there will be a monthly payment. We communicated this to the staff members … and requested a three-month window to assist us in this period where we are trying very hard to raise the money as usual,” Duarte said.

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