President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Kopano Tlape / GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Kopano Tlape / GCIS

Ramaphosa signs political funding bill

By siyabonga mkhwanazi Time of article published Feb 1, 2020

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Cape Town - The law which requires political parties to disclose their funders has been gazetted by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Civil society and other parties had been calling for the implementation of the Political Party Funding Act ahead of the local government elections in 2021.

Parties are already jostling for position with serious campaigning to get under way in the next few months.

My Vote Counts, an NGO, had called on Ramaphosa to gazette the law to allow for implementation.

Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko said this week the president signed the bill into law on January 21 last year. He then gazetted it two days later.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) had not responded to questions on the new law by time of publishing.

In the Gazette that was published on January 23 last year, the law states that the IEC must set up a fund for political parties.

In tightening the funding of parties, the law says parties “may not accept a donation from” foreign governments, organs of state and state-owned entities.

The ANC has in the past been accused by opposition parties of using state resources to campaign for elections.

The law requires parties to disclose the amounts received in donations from their funders.

The Funding Act is also clear on the donations to be received.

“No person or entity may deliver a donation to a member of a political party other than for party political purposes,” states the Act.

“A political party must deposit all donations by that political party, membership fees and levies imposed by the political party on its representatives into an account with a bank registered as a bank in terms of the Banks Act,” states the law.

The Act also orders the IEC to ensure compliance in this by all parties.

In the regulations outlined in the Act, the IEC must announce the amounts allocated to all parties at the beginning of each financial year.

The regulations further outline the proportional and equitable allocation of parties.

The ANC had for years refused to deal with the issue of disclosing funders for parties.

This was until three years ago when the ruling party proposed a law that would force parties to disclose their funders.

Some opposition parties had also warned that funders may not want to be known.

Civil society has said the change would limit the scope of corruption in the country.

Political Bureau 

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