Home South African Parties get R200 million boost ahead of elections

Parties get R200 million boost ahead of elections

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Political parties represented in Parliament and provincial legislatures this week received a R200 million boost ahead of the May 29 national and provincial elections.

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POLITICAL parties represented in Parliament and provincial legislatures this week received a R200 million boost ahead of the May 29 national and provincial elections.

George Mahlangu, the Electoral Commission of SA’s (IEC) deputy chief electoral officer responsible for party funding, said that the R200m was announced by Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana during his budget speech in February.

Godongwana said a further R200m would be allocated for political party funding as parties prepare for the elections.

”It was only gazetted recently and money paid into our account thereafter. The money was paid out to parties this past Tuesday,” Mahlangu said.

Last month, it was reported that political parties represented in the national and provincial legislatures will share almost R325m in the 2024/25 financial year.

According to the IEC, the period between the 2021/22 and 2022/23 financial years witnessed a marked increase in the total funds allocated for disbursement to represented political parties, shooting up from over R165.4m to just over R342m.

The ANC, Cope, National Freedom Party, African Transformation Movement, African Independent Congress, and the PAC received R40,000 fines from the Electoral Court last week for failing to comply with the Political Parties Funding Act.

None of the political parties filed opposing papers in the case where the IEC accused them of failing to file their annual financial statements timeously.

According to the court’s judgment, the parties failed to comply with the Act’s requirement to deposit all donations received, membership fees and levies imposed by them on their representatives into an account with a bank registered in terms of the Banks Act in their names.

They also failed to prepare statements showing all money received by them from the Represented Political Party Fund during the previous financial year, and prove the application of that money and the purposes for which the money has been applied.

The AIC, Cope, NFP and the PAC had their funds suspended due to failure by the party to comply with the requirements of the act last year.

On Friday, the IEC announced that the value of donations declared by political parties in the first quarter of 2024 surpassed R100m for the first time since the enactment of the Political Funding Act in 2018.

”The cumulative declared quantum is a prodigious R172,069,959.39. This amount is both higher than all of the quarters previously reported on and the combined quarterly disclosures reported during each of the previous two (2021/22 and 2022/23) financial years,” the IEC said.

The DA received the bulk of the donations declared with just over R65m, followed by businessman Roger Jardine’s Change Starts Now with nearly R36m, while the IFP declared R20m and the ANC almost R17m. New political party Rise Mzansi declared R15.1m.

Change Starts Now will not be contesting this month’s elections.

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