Up until recently, political parties have mostly been united in their opposition to transparency of their private funding.
On 27 March 2018, the National Assembly adopted the Political Party Funding Bill. Twelve out of thirteen political parties represented in Parliament were in support of adopting the Bill.
On 27 June 2018, the National Council of Provinces adopted the Bill with no amendments. This of course marking a historic moment in our political and electoral sphere.
This Bill is the first drafted legislation to provide for and regulate private funding to political parties. In addition, the Bill includes a disclosure regime for private donations received by political parties.
My Vote Counts welcomes the adoption of the Bill without amendments, but will still be campaigning for these amendments to be made on a later stage.
On 20 August 2018, members of MVC and R2K wrote letters to each of the represented political parties in Parliament requesting their private donor information. Parties were asked to disclose the following:
– The income of all donations (this includes donations, interest, dividends, loans, payments) from the amount of R10 000 for each financial year from March 2014 until May 2018 from all direct and third-party financial vehicles ( trusts, individuals, corporate entities) at the National, Provincial and Regional level;
– The identities of all donors who provided income above R10 000 to their political party either directly or through a third party in the form of donations, interest, dividends, loans, and or payments to any bank account, investment entities, trusts or third-party accounts of their political party.
The political parties were given a deadline of 10 September 2018 to disclose this information.
On 1 October 2018, MVC and Right 2 Know started a petition and wrote a letter to the President urging him to sign by end November as this would give enough time for the IEC to put processes in place and for the Bill to be implemented before the 2019 elections.
On 22 January 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Bill into law. Although we welcome the signing of this historic piece of legislation, we are disappointed that political parties will only be compelled to disclose their private funding information after the 2019 elections.
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Communication from Parliament
Timeline of Events
Interested to know how we got to the Political Party Funding Act? View a timeline of events on this campaign at this link.