Dear Friends,

This year we focus on campaigning for comprehensive reform of the funding of political parties to make them 100% open and transparent, responsive, proportionally and neutrally funded to exclude any influence from special interests.

ACHIEVEMENTS OF 2013

Our short term goals for 2013 were to: (i) secure a meeting with Parliament to discuss party funding reform urgently; (ii) develop a campaign strategy through an inclusive and deliberative process; and (iii) create awareness about the campaign.

In 2013, we achieved the following:

  • On 16 January 2013 MVC wrote a letter to the Independent Electoral Commission requesting them to take a position on the need for legislation dealing with private donations to political parties. They refused;

  • On 9 May 2013 MVC staged a protest play at the World Economic Forum and around Green Market Square. It was a Gupta inspired wedding between Government and Big Business. Watch the video here;

  • On 4 June MVC wrote a letter of demand to to the Speaker requesting that they publish a timeline for the passing of legislation dealing with the regulation of party funding reform, failing which we would be forced to go to court to resolve the issue. They have not responded;

  • On 2 August 2013 we wrote an OpEd in the Mail and Guardian summarising our activities and the lack of response from government;

  • On 25 August we received correspondence from the Public Protector informing MVC that in her opinion, the courts are best placed to deal with this issue, following non-action by Parliament and the IEC; and

  • On September 2013, we met with our lawyers to consider legal action.

2014 PLAN OF ACTION

We believe that Parliament has failed to honour its constitutional obligation to pass legislation regulating private donations to political parties. We believe such legislation is a constitutional imperative, as required by the right of access to information in section 32, the right to just administrative action in section 33, as well as the principles of public administration in section 195 of the Constitution, read against the backdrop of the rule of law and other constitutional values. Further, this must be read in conjunction with the section 19 political right.

In early 2014, we will host a national workshop to discuss the best legal way forward. If you are interested in getting involved, please send mary@myvotecounts.org.za a mail as soon as possible. There are several ways to get involved:

(i) Sign the campaign statement as an individual and get friends and family to do the same at http://www.myvotecounts.org.za/join/

(ii) Contact us to volunteer your skills in events/media/fundraising/research;

(iii) Donate some money;

(iv) Join the conversation. (Follow and tweet at us on Twitter at MVC_SA, find us on Facebook at My Vote Counts)

IMPORTANT NOTICE: GOVERNANCE

At our first committee meeting of the new year on 18 January 2013 we decided that in order to grow the campaign we needed to elect a national coordinating committee and establish provincial committees. We also established two provincial committees, or chapters. We believe that this has greatly increased the independence and representivity of the campaign.

The National Committee has established a working committee to consider litigation in 2014. As such, work through the provincial chapters will be suspended until the General Elections are held in April 2014. After this, we will meet again to reignite discussion on topics of democracy, host workshops on civic education, share education materials, foster collaboration and increase youth involvement in the upcoming elections. The National Committee members are: Greg Solik; Axolile Notywala; Mabine Seabe; Tyronne McCrindle and Mary Fawzy.

NB: IF YOU ARE  A MEMBER OF A CHAPTER AND WOULD LIKE PARTICIPATE IN THE WORKING COMMITTEE PLEASE LET US KNOW.

CONCLUSION

We are hiring an Assistant Coordinator after securing a small grant from the Open Society Foundation. Please see the advertisement for more details and distribute widely.

MyVoteCounts remains committed to promoting a healthy democracy and believes that our campaign goals help do so. These aims cannot be achieved without the engagement of all concerned citizens and organisations and we urge you to support us in anyway you can.