ANC risks missing IEC deadline as staff refuse to work extra hours

Party employees are on a ‘go-slow’ over outstanding salaries, but their bosses are begging them to be accommodating

17 August 2021 - 12:52 By kgothatso madisa
It remains unclear whether ANC staff will accede to the party's pleas.
ALL WILL BE REVEALED It remains unclear whether ANC staff will accede to the party's pleas.
Image: Phillio Nothnagel

The ANC runs the risk of failing to register its candidates to contest this year’s municipal elections by the August 23 IEC deadline, as staff refuse to work overtime and at weekends due to outstanding salaries and other benefits.

Party employees countrywide remain on a “go-slow” in protest against not being paid, which means the ANC’s leaders face the risk of failing to submit the names of their preferred municipal councillor candidates for the elections scheduled for October 27.

Febe Potgieter, the general manager at ANC headquarters Luthuli House, has written a desperate letter to disgruntled staff, pleading with them to suspend the go-slow, work extra hours and, this weekend, help the party meet the deadline.

Staff have been on a go-slow since last month, only working the hours stipulated in their contracts.

In the letter, which Sunday Times Daily has seen, Potgieter describes the situation as “critical” and a “make or break” for the ANC election programme.

“ANC staff at all levels play a critical role in providing support to branches and regions, as well as to the regional and provincial list and vetting committees,” read the letter.

“In the light of the above, we appeal to ANC staff from August 16 to 24 2021 to apply flexibility with regards to the go-slow, to allow essential and elections staff to assist the processes of candidate selection.”

According to Potgieter, staff would be required to work late this week and again at the  weekend.

She said staff were needed for candidate selection and the registration process to provide support to party structures in convening branch general meetings, community meetings and conducting interviews and the vetting process.

“Support by provincial staff to PECs to convene their extended PECs that must finalise the lists before submission, overall support and administration to correct any of the ANC candidate details, to ensure that correct and complete information is submitted to HQ for registration by latest August 23 2021; and work by essential HQ staff to ensure complete, correct and timeous registration of candidates, including support for the extended NEC/national list conference, the electoral committee, and the SGO,” Potgieter wrote.

It was not immediately clear whether ANC staff had accepted the plea from their bosses at the time of publishing.

The go-slow was acknowledged by ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte, who on August 5 sent a letter to national and provincial ANC leaders telling them to allow staff to exercise their labour rights by embarking on a go-slow.

In the letter, Duarte said the party had been through “financial challenges in recent months which have adversely affected staff” and that the challenges were being attended to by national officials.

She said the financial challenges led to staff embarking on a go-slow and they would only work from 8.30am to 4.30pm on weekdays and do no weekend duty.

“As a result of the above, all comrades are requested to be understanding and work within the time frames of 8.30 to 16.30, which includes, but are not limited to, subcommittee meetings, call centre operations and so on.

“The duration of the go-slow will be dependent on the conditions and an update will be provided as the situation progresses,” Duarte said at the time.

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