Cape Town - South Africa's Constitutional Court on Thursday confirmed a high court ruling that the private funding of political parties and independent candidates must be made reasonably accessible.
The court upheld the earlier Western Cape High Court order that the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) is unconstitutional in this regard and gave Parliament 18 months to amend the act.
"Parliament must amend PAIA and take any other measure it deems appropriate to provide for the recordal, preservation and facilitation of reasonable access to information on the private funding of political parties and independent candidates within a period of 18 months," read the court order.
The matter was brought before the courts by non-profit organisation My Vote Counts. It has argued that voters need to be able to access information about party funding to be able to exercise their rights at the ballot box.
The high court found last year that PAIA was inconsistent in this regard, and Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng in reading the Constitutional Court judgment on Thursday said it had concluded that the act was "deficient" as it did not provide for the recording and safekeeping of private funding to parties and for this to be made readily accessible to the electorate.