Johannesburg - MAJOR political parties in South Africa have admitted receiving millions in donations for their respective campaigns in the past local government elections which left more than 66 municipalities failing to reach an outright majority.
Now, these political parties in some of these hung municipalities are expected to engage in intense talks today, Friday, to form coalition governments ahead of Tuesday's deadline to clinch deals and elect speakers and mayors in the respective municipality.
Last night, ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba, was one of the party leaders who admitted that his party received donations amounting to more than R16.9 million to fund its November 1 municipal elections campaign.
Mashaba made the disclosures after the Electoral Commission released its 2nd quarter funding disclosures report yesterday.
In the report, the Oppenheimer family, businessman Martin Moshal and Naspers collectively donated over R30 million to ActionSA and the Democratic Alliance ahead of this year's local government elections.
The report revealed that Rebecca Oppenheimer contributed R3.3m and Victoria Freudenheim R3.3m and Jessica Slack-Jell R3.3m to ActionSA, while Moshal contributed R5m to the party's coffers.
Moshal also emerged as a key funder of the DA with a contribution of R15m while Naspers contributed R1m to the party.
Major contributors to the cash-strapped ANC were African Rainbow Minerals owned by Patrice Motsepe, with a R5.8m contribution while the Chancellor House Trust contributed R15m and NEP Consulting R1m.
The party's president Cyril Ramaphosa also contributed a total of R366 000.
Mashaba said his party was proud of its association with their donors, saying these were South Africans who were committed to South Africa and had generously donated to its political future.
“Importantly, our donors have been willing to do so openly and transparently in the manner envisioned by the PPFA. Our donors have communicated their satisfaction with ActionSA’s electoral showing and, already, ActionSA has received increased interest from funders across the board,” Mashaba said.
He also said there was an overwhelming interest in the expansion of ActionSA to the nine provinces of the country.
DA Federal finance chairperson Dr Dion George also confirmed the identities of their donors including Naspers and Moshal but the party emphasised that they voluntarily made such disclosures to the IEC.
While confirming donations and the amounts, Dr George expressed concerns about the IEC’s report, saying it failed to reveal which political parties did not make their financial disclosures.
“This needs to be resolved urgently. The report does not achieve its stated objective of ensuring transparency in the funding of political parties. The ANC have declared a R15 million donation from the Chancellor House Trust. That is their fundraising entity clearly structured to contravene the Act.
“By receiving donations to the Trust, they conceal the source of their donations.,” George said.
He added that following the alleged IEC’s abysmal performance in the recent elections, a question must be raised on whether the IEC is acting independently and serving the people and not the ANC.
“The EFF has not made any declaration. This is clearly in breach of the Political Party Funding Act. They have previously stated that they fund the party with statutory income. If this is true, they are acting illegally, given that statutory income cannot be spent on most political activity spending,” George said.
ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe did not confirm donations made to his party but said it was possible that the party’s treasury unit had made such disclosures to the IEC.
Donors could not be reached for comment.
Other parties which made disclosures included the Abantu Integrity Movement of Mkhuseli Jack in Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape. Jack who stood as an independent candidate and secured a seat in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro - made a contribution of R112 386.04 from his own trust fund.
Others such as the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) - R235 000.00; GOOD - R122 900.00.
Parties such as the Freedom Front Plus; EFF and the IFP which made significant inroads in the past municipal elections had not made any declarations to the IEC.