Home South African Call for tightening of Political Party Funding Act

Call for tightening of Political Party Funding Act

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This comes a day after the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) announced that only two parties disclosed their funders in the fourth quarter.

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A CIVIL society organisation has called for the tightening of the law on party funding as it would reveal who is behind some of the funding of parties.

This comes a day after the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) announced that only two parties disclosed their funders in the fourth quarter.

The ANC received R10 million while the DA got R2.5m from different sources.

The IEC said it was the first time since the Political Party Funding Act came into effect that only two parties have declared their funders.

My Vote Counts said on Wednesday it wants the Party Funding Act to be tightened to avoid a toxic relationship between money and politics.

The call by My Vote Counts for the tightening of the law came after the ANC last year proposed that the law should be amended to increase the threshold for financial disclosures from R100,000 to R250,000.

The ANC also wanted to increase the annual cap on donation from R15 million to R50m or be scrapped.

ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile had complained this threshold chases away donors who want to fund the party.

Mashatile said some of the donors did not want to be known or their identity made public for business and other purposes.

The law has also limited the number of donors to the party and led to serious financial challenges facing the party.

But My Vote Counts said the Political Party Fund Act has since it was enacted exposed who funds who.

“The PPFA exists to enhance political transparency and the rights of voters and to limit the toxic relationship between money and politics. The past year has shown that it is, undoubtedly, one of the biggest improvements to our democracy since 1996,” said My Vote Counts.

It said the financial disclosures have shown who was behind some of the parties.

“Another sign of the PPFA’s effectiveness is the ANC’s national working committee’s call to weaken the legislation. In December 2021 it was revealed that the party intends on expanding the annual threshold for disclosure from R100,000 to R250,000 – R500,000 and expand the annual cap on donations from R15 million to R50m – R100m, or just scrapped entirely. This is because the ANC has a funding crisis, in part due to limitations the act places on private influence,” said My Vote Counts.

However, it added that South Africa was far from knowing the extent of donation to parties.

The Political Party Funding Act would have to be tightened to prevent the influence of money in the political discourse.

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