The Political Party Funding Act will commence from 1 April 2021.
MVC and many civil society organisations have for years been advocating for legislation to create a transparency framework to ensure political parties disclose their private funding information. This is to provide voters and the public with crucial information when they go to the polls and to make other political choices as well as to deter corruption.
MVC previously wrote a letter to the President, endorsed by 20 civil society organsations, on the one year anniversary of the PPFA being assented to, requesting that a date be gazetted for implementation of the Act. This letter was not answered by the President.
On 21 December 2020, MVC, through our legal representatives Webber Wentzel, wrote a formal letter to the President urgently requesting reasons for the unjustifiable delays in the promulgation and implementation of the PPFA, as well as the Promotion of Access Information Amendment Act. We also asked for an indication of when these laws would come into effect. We are yet to receive a response from the President, and have requested a response by 22 January 2021. Our letter can be read here.
The Act will fundamentally improve and deepen our ability to exercise our political rights from an informed position. For the first time in our country’s history, political parties will need to disclose the sources and amounts of private funding they receive and this will be available to the public. The regulatory framework the law creates will also serve to clamp down on corruption and the undue influence of private interests in our politics. The PPFA will also repeal our current public funding legislation (Public Funding of Represented Political Parties Act) and create a Represented Political Party fund. This will be to the benefit of smaller parties and will strengthen our multi-party democracy.
Some of the key points from the PPFA include:
- Private donations of more than R100 000 are to be disclosed to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) who is tasked with recording and preserving this information and will make it available for South Africans.
- Donations for any other purposes other than for political-party business are prohibited.
- Donations from foreign governments, foreign agencies, foreign persons and foreign entities are prohibited. Unless these donations are for training, skills development or policy development.
- Political parties cannot receive donations from organs of state or state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
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.
Read the Political Party Funding Act here.
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Communication from Parliament