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ANC party funding reduced

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REUTERS

Johannesburg - The ANC lost not only a handful of seats in the National Assembly after the elections, it can expect to lose millions of rand in party funding because of its reduced majority.

The DA, which got 22 more seats, can expect the opposite and will receive more than R12 million in extra funding from Parliament.

The new funding comes as Parliament has its first sitting to elect the president and the Speaker on Wednesday, with MPs from all parties sitting together for the first time since the May 7 polls.

One senior parliamentary official said the ANC lost more than just votes at the polls. “They will also lose millions,” he said.

In terms of the Policy on Political Parties Allowances, there are three allowances payable - a Constituency Allowance, a Party Leadership Allowance and the Constituency Allowance for the 2014/2015 financial year in the fifth democratic Parliament, which is R562 482 per representative in the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces.

The total amount to which a particular party is entitled is determined by multiplying the allocated amount by the number of members of that party, according to the policy.

This means the ANC can expect to lose about R8.4m in funding in the National Assembly alone after losing 15 seats. The party now has 249 MPs.

One ANC member said that even if the party had more MPs, “the funding is still not sufficient for the kind of obligations we have as a ruling party”.

According to Parliament’s policy on political party allowances, the system of constituency allowances was introduced to enable political parties represented in Parliament to set up an infrastructure for the benefit of constituents.

The policy states that “financial and administrative assistance to each party represented in the National Assembly is in proportion to its representation, to enable the party and its leader to perform their functions in the assembly effectively”.

Parliament spokesman Luzuko Jacobs said Parliament had to provide support for members when they were elected, based on the number of seats the party had.

“There are very clear guidelines on what’s allowed and what’s not allowed (on how to use the money). But there definitely will be a financial impact in that sense because we pay per member,” said Jacobs.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said on Tuesday the worst thing that could happen for the party would be to do its work based on “rands and cents”. “Many decisions required a simple majority. That value (of having a majority) is bigger than R9 million.”

Parliament was also prepared for Wednesday’s first sitting where President Jacob Zuma and the next Speaker of Parliament will be elected.

Secretary of Parliament Masibulele Xaso said MPs would be sworn in in groups of 10.

The Star


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