South Africa: ANC Welcomes Adoption of Political Party Funding Bill By the National Assembly

press release

The African National Congress (ANC) notes and welcomes the adoption of the Political Party Funding Bill by the National Assembly yesterday, 27 March 2018. The Bill now will now be referred to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for consideration.

This extremely important Bill covers the three basic principles outlined by the ANC's 52nd and 53rd Conference Resolutions in relation to political party funding being the regulation of private funding of political parties, financial transparency and accountability of political parties; and enhanced public funding for activities that promote and support democracy.

Led by the former Treasurer General, Comrade Zweli Mkhize, the ANC had made written and oral submissions to the Ad Hoc Committee on Political Party Funding in July 2017 highlighting that enhanced public funding should only be considered in the context of and improved regulatory architecture for the financial operations of parties.

This Bill provides that framework for transparency and financial accountability, regulation of private finance and an increase public confidence in our democratic system.

This Bill further legislates the ANC's call that public allocations should go only to parties that publish comprehensive audited financial statements on an annual basis covering all transactions. This clause therefore subjects political parties to provisions that ordinarily face other public institutions in a democratic society and once the Bill is passed political parties will have to disclose their sources of income to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

It is a sign of the good health of our democracy that this important piece of legislation has been debated openly amongst all political parties. It is worth noting that the public, organizations and a multiplicity of stakeholders also had an opportunity to input during the Bill's development. Accordingly, the ANC is confident the process that led to the passing of the Bill have been transparent and inclusive.

The ANC once again reaffirms its position that regulation of political party financing is good for democracy. In the famous words of Louis Brandeis: "Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.... electric light the most efficient policeman."

Issued by the African National Congress

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