‘Party can ask South Africans for funds’

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Johannesburg -

There is no government policy or law that prevents public servants from donating money towards any political party, says the Department of Public Service and Administration.

Channelling a portion of your salary as a public servant is entirely a personal choice, and a decision between the individual and the party involved, said Brent Simons, the spokesman for Public Service and Administration Minister Collins Chabane.

Simons was responding to calls by the Freedom Front Plus and the DA this week for a Public Service Commission (PSC) investigation to find out whether any “undue pressure” is being exerted on state officials like directors-general to make contributions to the ANC.

This followed weekend reports that the ANC was now soliciting funds from its supporters in the public sector.

DA spokesman Marius Redelinghuys said on Tuesday he would be writing to the PSC to request an investigation into the ANC’s “alleged requests for contributions from state employees to party funds”.

“It would be highly problematic if the ANC were pressuring state officials for donations. It would be akin to a ‘pay-for-jobs’ situation,” said Redelinghuys.

Simons dismissed the calls for an investigation.

“It’s not a public service issue. There is no policy in the South African governance system that deals with this and there’s also no legislative framework. Any party can feel free to ask South Africans for funds. So from a legislative and policy (perspective), there’s nothing in government that forces anyone to make donations,” said Simons.

He said public servants would “do it as a personal choice”.

“It’s purely something between the public servant who is a member of a political party and the political party,” said Simons.

ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize said at the weekend the party categorically rejected any attempt to link voluntary and unconditional financial contributions by members, supporters and sympathisers of the ANC “to the acquisition or retention of any jobs in the public sector”.

“Donations to the ANC are not transactional. Anyone who contributes to the organisation cannot expect anything, nor do they contribute in exchange of anything.”

He said members, supporters and sympathisers of the ANC contribute to their organisation voluntarily and unconditionally “in pursuance of article 7 of the resolutions on fundraising” of the 53rd national conference in Mangaung.

The ANC in North West has also piloted its own fundraising model to help reduce the party’s reliance on donations from organised business.

The EFF has also put in place a plan to get its MPs and MPLs to donate 15 percent of their gross income to the party.

The Star

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