Parliament’s ad hoc committee on the funding of political parties has approved a bill to regulate funding for political parties.
The 11-member multiparty committee was charged with inquiring into and making recommendations on the funding of political parties represented in national and provincial legislatures.
It was to consider a model of public and private funding for political parties and the desirability of regulating private funding in all its forms, including investment entities owned by political parties.
On Tuesday, the Committee recommended that existing legislation be repealed and has developed a new framework to address the weaknesses identified.
This will include the formation of the Represented Political Party Fund and the proposed Multiparty Democracy Fund – both of which will be managed by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). It further says that the two funds should be managed by a separate business unit with its own chief executive.
Political party funding in South Africa was previously dealt with under the Public Funding of Represented Political Parties Act of 1997.
Under the act, political parties were not required to declare sources of their funds or how they use their money. This led to concerns surrounding how much a party was receiving in private donations and whether the donations were all above board.
Under the new bill these donations will now have to be disclosed.
There were also concerns as to how much money each party receives, with 90% of the current R140 million sum going to the ANC, EFF and DA with the other 10% goes to the remaining 12 parties. This is now set to change with the formation of the two new funds, with the “big three” now expected to share a more equal share with smaller parties.
The Committee said it would table its report in the National Assembly on Thursday 30 November 2017 for a debate and declarations.