Unpaid staff picketed at the party's provincial offices across the country, threatening to interdict the national policy conference.
The Luthuli House workers aired their grievances, some of which date back to 2019, accusing the ANC leadership of being “the most uncaring leadership for staff welfare”.
Staff members who have been helping with preparations for the conference said they have proof the party could pay salaries but had chosen to prioritise other issues.
Speaking on eNCA, ANC finance committee member and social development minister Lindiwe Zulu assured staff they will get their money soon.
“The treasurer's office, and Paul Mashatile himself, is doing everything to ensure we get the money.
“Even the policy conference, we are paying for going there. We must appreciate and realise that the ANC doesn't have a factory where it goes and gets money. The money must come from us as members.”
Zulu said another reason for ANC's money woes was its membership fees had been “too low for too long”. The fee is R12 annually.
“We said we are dealing with our own members who are poor. Had we started to increase [the fee] for those who could afford [it], we would be in a better space.
“We do get money from parliament, but that is not enough for any political party. We need to be innovative and creative about where we make money to make sure ANC staff and all other operations are properly paid for.”
On social media, many expressed views on Mabe's statement, claiming he was speaking from a position of “privilege”.