File picture: Kevin Sutherland/EPA

Cape Town - Members of the public have less than a month to make written submissions on a bill that provides for disclosure of private funding of political parties and independent candidates.

This comes a few months before the cut-off date set down for the National Assembly by the Constitutional Court. Concourt wants Parliament to amend the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA).

In June last year, judgment by the apex court reiterated a ruling by the Western Cape High Court that declared the PAIA invalid.

It found it inconsistent with the Constitution by failing to provide records, preservation and reasonable disclosure of information on private funding of political parties and independent candidates.

The court had ordered Parliament to make the amendments within 18 months.

The National Assembly’s justice and correctional services portfolio committee has since been given the go-ahead to amend the PAIA in compliance with the ruling of the Concourt.

The Independent Electoral Commission, meanwhile, is still considering regulations for the Political Party Funding Act, which will require parties to disclose funding to the electoral body.

Parliament last month heard that the bill would insert a new chapter to regulate information on private funding to political parties and independent candidates.

In a statement, committee chairperson Bulelani Magwanishe said interested persons were invited to submit written comment on the bill by not later than August 31.

“The bill assigns an obligation to the accounting officer of a political party (defined to include an independent candidate), to create and keep records of any money over R100 000 paid or donated by persons or entities to a party,” Magwanishe said.

He said the records were expected to be made available on social media platforms quarterly.

Political Bureau