After ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula made mention of his election budget projection of “around R50 million” for this year’s municipal polls, the ANC released a statement accusing The Citizen of being sensationalist and even “malicious” by, in effect, reporting Mbalula’s exact words.
Mbalula also touched on the ongoing nonpayment of employees at his organization, saying ANC staffers protesting over unpaid salaries weren’t “real people who work at the ANC”, but “those who don’t know even their job description”, “ghost workers”, and those who thought it is “fashionable for going out and embarrassing the ANC and bringing its name in disrepute”.
He defended the party against questions about their inability to pay staff salaries for three months while still apparently planning to spend “around R50 million” on campaigning, in his own words.
This election campaign budget was not set in stone, however, as budgets were “moving targets”, but the party was definitely “not looking at spending more than R50 million in this campaign”, Mbalula told 702’s Clement Manyatela in an interview on Wednesday morning.
This is a distortion of the comment made by our Head of Elections Comrade Fikile Mbalula on the 702 Radio interview, where we alluded that the ANC relies on donors to fund its election campaign and has no firm budget that is fully funded. This distortion is at best sensational and at worst malicious, and does nothing to enrich public discourse that should inform the choices of the voters.”
The party is now not clear on how much it will spend on its campaign, but has yet to withdraw Mbalula’s estimate of “around R50 million”.
Reports in May this year suggested that the cash-strapped ANC had an R80 million tax bill when Paul Mashatile took over as treasurer-general in December 2017, and that the party reportedly owed a further R140 million in provident-fund debt, which it has been paying off.
Mbalula said the party was working on its cash flow challenges, adding that democracy is an expensive exercise.
“Democracy and running a party political structure is tough and the ANC is running a huge bill, which it needs to reconsider in light of the new financial laws that govern political parties’ funding,” he said.
We rely on fundraising and donor funding, that is it. So, we don’t have our own assets that we rely on to give us more resources every month.
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