The DA will start a restructuring process in which staff numbers will be reduced. Picture: GALLO IMAGES
The DA will start a restructuring process in which staff numbers will be reduced. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

The DA is set to cull jobs at its operations countrywide after a poor performance in the May general elections.

Not only are DA staff members facing the axe, but the party will not be paying bonuses in 2019 amid claims that its donors are holding back funds.

“Following a very difficult election period, the party is regrettably not in a position to pay bonuses this year. We will, however, have an extended ex gratia period in lieu of this,” DA CEO Paul Boughey wrote to party staff last Tuesday.

Party sources claimed the DA is running out of money as it has built up an enormous staff component over the years but has been struggling to raise funds since the May elections.

“Our donor base votes with its chequebook, and they have not been happy with the party’s performances,” said a federal executive member, speaking on condition of anonymity.

In a separate letter, Boughey informed staff that an organisational review is under way to look at streamlining processes and to develop the most efficient structure to ensure the party maximises its votes in the 2021 local government elections.

“As a result of these discussions, it has become clear some immediate changes need to be made in order for the party to reach its core election objectives for Election 2021 and to meet its financial obligations,” Boughey said.

“As such, we will be embarking on a restructuring process which may see a reduction in our staff headcount in the coming months.

“Over the next few weeks, we will be consulting certain employees who may be affected by this process, following the principles as required by the Labour Relations Act,” he said.

While he described the situation as “unfortunate” and acknowledged “this is a difficult time”, Boughey said they had decided to restructure after considering several alternatives to streamline operations over the past while.

Normal practice

The party did not respond to written questions about the number of staff who will be affected by the restructuring.

DA national spokesperson Solly Malatsi said it is normal practice for the DA to review its operations in line with the electoral cycle and the party’s strategic objectives.

“This is the process currently under way. We also constantly evolve our systems to make them as efficient as possible. In this context, and in the face of a weakening economy, we are in the process of restructuring our operations in line with the relevant legislative and other requirements,” Malatsi said.

The party is doing so to be in a strong and sustainable position going into the 2021 elections, he said.

Malatsi denied claims that the party’s donors are tightfisted in funding the party, saying they remain fully committed to the party and its cause.