Cape Town-120424. Mamphela Ramphele, founder of the Citizens Movement for Social Change, at the launch of their office in Rondebosch. Reporter:Aziz Hartley.Pic: Jason Boud

Cape Town - The cash-strapped new political party AgangSA has called for urgent reform of the country’s political party funding system, saying it should include new players to the political arena.

But fellow new kid on the block, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which also claims to be in a state of “brokeness”, said the “people should fund their own revolution”.

Agang’s call follows weekend reports stating that, just 10 months after launching, the fledgling party was broke.

The party, led by self-declared millionaire Mamphela Ramphele, reportedly failed to pay party managers and staff their December salaries, citing once-off payments to service-providers as the reason for its cash flow problems.

“The funding of political parties needs urgent reform to allow for parties to be supported by the public purse in a transparent, equitable manner, including new entrants to the political arena. AgangSA currently has no access to parliamentary funding and has had to rely on the goodwill of high-net worth South Africans, both in South Africa and those living abroad, to fund its activities,” the party said.

It said 75 percent of its funding went to field management programmes “with a small proportion” supporting the administrative infrastructure.

“The issue of foreign funding, which the ANC has repeatedly raised as a risk factor for South Africa’s democracy is a red herring,” the party said.

The party said it relied on more than 100 000 active volunteers across all provinces.

EFF national spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said his party was not really concerned about the funding of political parties. “We will have to sustain ourselves. The people will fund their own revolution.”

However, he said the EFF would participate in the party funding debate if it were invited. “It’s an interesting debate. But we are known for our brokeness (sic), from day one people have written countless pieces of how poor we are. We are not a party of big funders, particularly because of what we stand for,” Ndlozi said.

Last year, ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize said companies should also fund political parties and suggested the establishment of a trust fund.

Cape Times