ANC set to amend internal party lobbying rules
This comes after Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane found that hundreds of millions of rands were donated to the ANC presidential campaign of President Cyril Ramaphosa ahead of the Nasrec conference two years ago.
Ramaphosa is seeking an urgent judicial review of Mkhwebane’s report, saying it was irrational “and in some instances, exceed the scope of the powers of the public protector”.
Speaking at the Electoral Commission of SA’s (IEC) public hearings in Cape Town on the Political Party Funding Act, senior ANC officials said they supported the regulations.
ANC elections general manager Febe Potgieter-Gqubule said for more than 10 years party officials had been concerned about financial donations to political parties.
“About a week ago we took a decision in the ANC that we need rules and regulations for lobbying for positions in the ANC,” said Potgieter-Gqubule.
ANC head of organising Dakota Legoete told the gathering that the ANC had been “tearing itself apart” over donations to the party.
He said at its recent national executive committee meeting party leaders had agreed to amend the party’s policy on lobbying.
The money donated to Ramaphosa’s ANC presidential campaign has been the subject of debate in the country.
Potgieter-Gqubule said it would be difficult for the ANC to provide all its bank accounts to auditors, in line with legislation in Political Party Funding Act, compiled by the IEC.
She said the ANC had 4700 bank accounts for its branches across the country and this excluded regions and provinces.
But Potgieter-Gqubule said officials would carry out this task and that the party’s treasurer general, Paul Mashatile, had authority over all ANC bank accounts.
The IEC’s new chief executive of party funding, George Mahlangu, said IEC officials would need to work with the treasurers of all parties as they started the process of implementing the law.
The Political Party Funding Act, which was signed into law by Ramaphosa early this year, requires that parties disclose their funders.
Civil society organisations said they were concerned about the money flowing into the accounts of political parties.
Mahlangu said among the issues they would discuss with the parties represented in Parliament was the structure and format of disclosure.
They also wanted donors to make disclosures online in a bid to simplify the process.
“We are looking at working with party treasurers so that we are all on the same page,” said Mahlangu.
The IEC reiterated that it would only be able to implement the law by the 2021 local government elections.
It would not be easy to immediately implement it and start getting parties to make disclosures the law would be implemented in phases and be rolled out in full in two years.