File picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA).

Johannesburg - The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) wants provisions in the political party funding law that does not require donations of up to R100 000 to be disclosed to the Independent Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) changed.

The union federation said it would later on Thursday make presentations at the IEC's public hearings on the new party funding law in Cape Town.

"It will not take a rocket scientist to figure out that they can then simply donate R99 000 to avoid disclosure. This ridiculous escape clause threatens to collapse the [political party funding] act's progressive objectives," the labour federation said in a statement.

"We are equally concerned that the regulations drafted by the IEC have reduced the act's sentencing provisions of up to five years in prison to a mere two years. In a season of systematic looting, this is unbelievable. It must be amended and brought in line with the act. We need more criminals in prison, not less. The IEC does not have the right to water down the act's anti-corruption sanctions."

The Political Party Funding Act seeks to regulate party funding and ensure that all political parties disclose private donations to promote transparency.

It was passed by Parliament in 2018 and signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier this year. 

The new law requires parties to report their funding to the commission, which would publish the information on a quarterly basis. 

There is no need for parties to declare donations of R100 000 or less, while an individual's donation to a party is capped at R15 million. Furthermore, the act prohibits political parties from accepting donations they ought to have known were generated from proceeds of crime.  

African News Agency (ANA)