14 July 2017

South Africa: Party-Political Funding and the Need for Regulation

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Recent disclosures about the alleged influence of the Gupta family in the awarding of tenders and selection of board members to our state-owned enterprises have served to underscore the importance, and now urgency, of the regulation of party-political funding in order to limit any perceived undue sway of donors in our political processes.

Long before these matters played out in the public domain, the ANC was calling for another look at the current funding model, specifically proposing an increase in public funding for political parties and greater transparency on the support from private donors.

We have directed that our members must participate in the formation of Parliament's multiparty ad hoc committee that will look into this and investigate whether public funding of political parties is adequate. It will also explore the need to regulate private funding as well as ensuring transparency.

While as political parties we are of the unanimous view that we could do with more money, we are confronted by the reality of extreme discomfort on the part of donors to have their identities and the size of their contribution subjected to public scrutiny. We respect their right to confidentiality if that is a condition. Ostensibly, some private...

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