Political analyst Ralph Mathekga has warned that the financial resources of many political parties will dwindle after the Political Party Funding Act takes effect on the first of next month.
On Wednesday, the Electoral Commission of South Africa told the media how the Act will govern what many South Africans hope will mark the start of transparency on those who are behind the 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.
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 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.
Mathekga says some donors will simply disappear after the Act comes into being.
“I think that some are going to reconsider because the introduction of this law changes the game altogether. We are now going to know who funded who and those that benefitted under the regime of secrecy under which they were not obligated to disclose as there was no disclosure law, they will certainly reconsider. I don’t think they will continue as usual. It will certainly change the behaviour of donors, given within our politics in the last few years.”
Analysis: Private political party funding:
In the video below the IEC briefs political parties on implementation of the Political Party Funding Act: