Political parties rake in R160 million ahead of the 2024 elections – this is who’s funding them

 ·1 Mar 2024

As political parties ramp up their campaigns ahead of the general elections being held on 29 May, so have their attempts to woo donors to help fund incredibly competitive (and ultimately expensive) campaigns.

According to the IEC’s latest Party Funding Disclosure Report, seven political parties have made donation declarations for the third quarter of 2023/24 (1 October – 31 December) – amounting to just under R59 million.

Legally, political parties have to disclose all donations received above R100,000.

New kid on the block, Rise Mzansi, emerged as the party having the biggest donor draw for the quarter, followed by ActionSA and the ANC respectively.

The declared donation amounts for Q3 of 2023/24 are:

  1. Rise Mzansi – R16,744,186
  2. ActionSA – R13,912,450
  3. African National Congress (ANC) – R10,000,000
  4. Build One South Africa (BOSA) – R8,500,000
  5. Patriotic Alliance (PA) – R7,096,380
  6. Democratic Alliance (DA) – R2,608,009
  7. Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) – R191,040

A total of eight political parties have disclosed donations for the 2023/24 financial year to the IEC. Politics is an expensive game, and as such, declared donations have totalled R160.8 million over the past three quarters.

Notably, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have not declared any donations.

Total declared funding for 2023/24 (Q1 – 3):

  1. DA – R61,431,172
  2. ANC – R30,000,000
  3. ActionSA – R29,406,860
  4. Rise Mzansi – R16,744,186
  5. BOSA – R15,500,000
  6. PA – R7,321,380
  7. IFP – R303,515
  8. VF+ – R131,000

Below are the parties’ biggest funders

Rise Mzansi R16,744,186

Only having registered with the Electoral Commission on 7 September 2023, the new kid on the block in bringing in big bucks.

The biggest boost for the party in getting the top spot for declared donations is largely thanks to a R15 million was a monetary donation received from Rebecca Oppenheimer. The billionaire heiress has in the past made similar large donations to parties such as the DA and ActionSA.

A R1 million monetary donation was received from an entity named Main Street 1564 (Pty) Ltd.

R184,228 worth of website development was contributed by InJozi Design CC, and R559,958 worth of printing and flighting election posters was done by Kairos Communication (Pty) Ltd.

ActionSA R13,912,450

All of ActionSA’s donations were monetary.

Regular donors to the party Victoria Freudenheim and Martin Moshal made donations worth R7,486,200 and R5 million respectively.

African Equity Corporation (Pty) Ltd contributed a R1 million monetary donation.

SHIYAN 80422 (Pty) Ltd did a donation of R150,000, the Solomon David Group (Pty) Ltd had a R127,750 donation and Alan Beesley contributed R148,000.

African National Congress (ANC) – R10,000,000

All of the ANC’s declared donations were monetary from the Chancellor House Trust. The donations were of R5 000 000.00 each, both received during the month of December 2023.

Build One South Africa (BOSA) – R8,500,000

The party’s highest donation was received from Jessica Bridget Slack Jell, at R6 million, followed by Martin Moshal with a donation of R2 million, and lastly, an entity named RTH Investments (Pty) Ltd with a donation of R500,000.

All these donors are regular donors to various political parties in South Africa, like the DA and ActionSA.

Patriotic Alliance (PA) – R7,096,380

Party leader, Gayton McKenzie, was the party’s highest donor for the quarter, contributing a combined total of R2,759,130 to his party.

Deputy president of the party Kenny Kunene, made a total monetary donation of R1,007,250.

RED C2 (Pty) Ltd made a donation of R2 million and Downtown Spares CC gave R380,000.

XMOOR Transport (Pty) Ltd, Metrowired (Pty) Ltd and an individual named Rapula Mogakiwas each donated R190,000 for the political party’s gala dinner in November 2023.

“These amounts should not have been declared as donations… however, the Commission is publishing these as voluntarily declared by the political party,” said the IEC.

Democratic Alliance (DA) – R2,608,009.05

The biggest contribution came from Artemis Properties (Pty) Ltd, who donated R1 million, followed by Beacon Rock Limited with a donation of R999 711.81.

Several other donations were received from Joof Alberts Trust valued at R250,000, Indawo (Cape) (Pty) Ltd valued at R150,000, and an individual named Mr A Dymond donated R136 500.

Regular donor, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation did an in-kind and monetary donation of R71,797.24 for the cost of communication training for DA members.

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) – R191,040

One in-kind donation valued at R191,040.77 was made by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung NPC.

This was towards costs related to a training workshop for party members employed in the national, provincial and local spheres of government.

Multi-Party Democracy Fund

Important to note is that Standard Bank donated R5 million into the Multi-Party Democracy Fund, which raises and distribute donated funds from the private sector to represented political parties.

The Electoral Commission is mandated to administer the fund including to raise funds for the MPDF from corporate and private donors and to distribute these funds to parties represented in the national and provincial legislatures.

Funds from the MPDF are distributed according to the formula:

  • 1/3 equal (33.3%) representation.
  • 2/3 proportional (66.6%) representation.

Read: The big-name billionaires funding South Africa’s opposition

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