Article by: Tebogo Lesoro (Editor)
The South African political arena has just taken a huge shift, as now political parties will be required by law to disclose their funders. Politics in South Africa have had a lot of controversies surrounding it, were wealthy foreign nationals have been seen attending elective conferences of different parties. Some businessman and businesswomen have even be categorized as friends of those parties.
It is vividly noticeable that most of these businesses and foreign investors invest in political parties with the expectation of economical benefits and to score gigs of doing business with the state.
On Friday President Ramaphosa signed a Proclamation on the Commencement of the Political Party Funding Act, 2018 (Act no. 6 of 2018), which regulates public and private funding of political parties.
The Act establishes funds to provide political parties represented in Parliament and legislatures with funding to undertake their work. It also requires that donations be disclosed by parties and donors to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
The Act prohibits donations to parties by foreign governments or agencies, foreign persons or entities, organs of state or state-owned enterprises. Parties may however receive funding from foreign entities for training, skills development or policy development. No member of a political party may receive a donation other than for political party purposes.
The office of the Presidency said that the implementation of the Political Party Funding Act will have far-reaching consequences for good governance and ethical political activity. It will strengthen the confidence of citizens in the democratic political process and enable them to assert their right to information.
Thecommencement of the Political Party Funding Act on 1 April 2021 is part of the commitment of this administration to improving transparency and accountability in government.