Crowdfunding is often a viable way to raise cash for an initiative, even in politics, but it’s not often that you see a ruling party ask its supporters for cash. At least, not like this. South Africa’s ANC (African National Congress) has put out a call on Twitter for supporters to “…make your contribution to African National Congress Fundraising.”
Topping up the ANC
— African National Congress (@MYANC) August 28, 2021
Lest you think it’s a scam, the call for donations — which doesn’t include anything by way of explanation as to why the political party is in need of supporters’ pocket change — was confirmed by spokesperson Pule Mabe, who said, “Political parties from time to time pick up financial challenges because of growing commitments that they may have, things have changed now we have the political funding act, it is because of the economic situation we are now finding ourselves in.”
He went on to say, “We are confident that the kind of fundraising approach that is being looked at will take the ANC out of the current problem we find ourselves in.” Which, again, doesn’t include much by way of explanation. The party is in need of money to take care of an economic situation, but they’re being a little delicate in explaining what that might be.
Kinda. Media24 reports that the call is for funds to pay ANC staff, who are supposedly going on strike later this week over non-payment of salaries. The SABC also reports that this crowdfunding initiative is aimed at paying salaries, some of which haven’t been paid for up to two months.
While politics is technically always ‘crowdfunded’, in a sense, this sort of effort can either be enlightening or sobering. There’s one way to find out how supporters really feel about a political party and that’s to ask those supporters for money. The response from this call will likely let the ANC know how its supporters (who use Twitter) really feel about their performance ahead of local government elections that should take place later this year.