Picture: David Ritchie/ANA Pictures

Johannesburg - Political parties and interested organisations have until end of business on Monday to make submissions to Parliament’s Inquiry into the funding of political parties.

The Ad Hoc Committee looking into the funding of political parties, chaired by ANC MP Vincent Smith, is expected to begin public hearings into the matter in August.

The investigation will focus both on state and private funding of political parties represented in Parliament and the provincial legislatures.  

The committee is expected to conclude its investigation by the end of the year.

Smith said it was vital for interested persons to make submissions.

The initial deadline was set down for July 21, but political parties had asked for an extension until July 24.  

The ANC’s Treasurer Zweli Mkhize, in his submission to the committee said the ANC wants the regulation of private funding of political parties in order to ensure greater transparency.

“The ANC calls for the regulation of private financing of political parties and enhanced public funding for activities that promote and support democracy,” said Mkhize.

He also stressed, in his submission, that reliance of political parties on private donations and the secrecy that it often accompanies, fuels perceptions that unknown donations subvert the democratic process.

“Transparency therefore is necessary to increase public confidence in the democratic system and to allow parties to remain financially sustainable in an ethical, lawful and predictable manner. Party finances must be open to public scrutiny and discussions engaged on the desirability of donations from, amongst other categories, foreign interests or from companies that conduct substantial business with the state,” said Mkhize.
 
The date for public hearings is set for August 15 and 16.
 
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