IEC begins public hearings on controversial political party funding
Johannesburg - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) will kick off its public hearings on draft regulations for the Political Party Funding Act which seeks to govern how political parties are funded.
The first hearing will be held in Cape Town on August 1 and 2 and it comes after approximately 4300 written submissions were made to the commission when calls for comments were opened early this year.
The need for the Act comes after My Vote Counts won a Constitutional Court application in June last year to force political parties to disclose their funders to the public.
In response to that ruling, President Cyril Ramaphosa signed into law the political funding bill in January this year. The bill stipulates that political parties may not accept donations from organs of state or state-owned entities, foreign persons including entities from foreign governments and or their agencies - among other requirements.
The IEC has now started its own process after it postponed the implementation of the first phase in April. The postponement was to allow time to process the large number of written submissions and to also allow further opportunity for engagement through public hearings.
The IEC’s Chief Electoral Officer, Sy Mamabolo, said the postponement also took into consideration the capacity demands on the electoral commission, political parties and other stakeholders during the national and provincial elections 2019.
“Following the success conclusion of the elections and a high-level analysis of the thousands of written submissions received, the Electoral Commission is now in a position to proceed with the finalisation of the regulations and the implementation of the act in a phased approach,” said Mamabolo.
Additionally, Mamabolo said, the commission has written to key stakeholders including all represented political parties, a number of civil society organisations, business associations and those who made substantive written submissions, inviting them to attend the hearings.
Anyone wishing to make an oral submission at the hearings is requested to advise the Electoral Commission of their intent via email to [email protected] by no later than July 24 2019.