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ANC's Funding Woes Threaten Election Campaign Material Production

Published March 17, 2024
2 months ago

The African National Congress (ANC), South Africa's ruling party, is facing a severe financial crisis that is threatening its ability to produce campaign material for the impending national and provincial elections. According to insider reports from the City Press, the party lacks the necessary funds to create essential election materials such as T-shirts, banners, and posters. With the elections just around the corner, the absence of any visible ANC promotional material has become glaringly evident.

During a meeting of ANC election officials from across the country, concerns were raised over the lack of a budget for campaign items. Plans to advertise through radio, TV, newspapers, and digital platforms are also in jeopardy due to the financial shortfall. The crisis extends to the party's obligations to its staff, with late salary payments and lagging contributions to UIF and medical aid reported.

The situation has escalated to the point where some within the party are calling for a vote of no confidence in Treasurer-General Gwen Ramokgopa, criticizing her inability to secure adequate funding, which is hampering the election team’s operational plans. In a desperate attempt to secure funds, the party has resorted to hosting gala dinners and soliciting donations from businesspeople, with some top officials actively approaching potential donors.

Compounding the party's financial woes is the controversy surrounding the recent passage of the Electoral Matters Amendment Bill, which modifies the Political Party Funding Act (PPFA). The adjustment will now see 90% of political funding distributed based on proportional representation, favoring the ANC due to its size, a move opposition parties have decried as a grab for funds by the ruling party ahead of crucial elections.

ANC Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula disputes these allegations, stating that the Bill is democratic and allows parties to benefit in proportion to their electoral support. He dismisses the opposition's complaints as stemming from "a place of bitterness."

The ANC's inability to secure campaign funds represents a significant challenge to their 2024 election campaign and highlights the broader issues of political party funding and electoral campaigning in South Africa. The coming weeks will be critical for the ANC as it scrambles to muster resources for a successful electoral bid.

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