The ANC in the Western Cape received a financial boost from Iqbal Survé's Sekunjalo group with the businessman saying he wants nothing in return.
"I have never hidden the fact that I have supported the ANC," said Survé at an intimate gathering in a restaurant in Cape Town's upmarket Silo District on Sunday night.
It is understood that R1m was donated to the governing party.
He said the donation was because of his desire to "deepen democracy" for the 2019 national and provincial elections.
"I have only one condition to this support," he said. "Do not give us [the company] anything in return. It's very important that our support is unconditional."
Addressing office bearers from the ANC's regions in Western Cape, a casually-dressed Survé said the donation was to make sure the party's 15 000 volunteers got something to eat over the next three days of voting.
It was also to assist with transporting voters to voting stations.
"This is important to me personally and to the Sekunjalo group that you do us no favours."
Survé said neither he nor the company wanted any thanks for the donation, and felt it was important to be public about it.
"If you want to support democracy, do this transparently."
Western Cape elections coordinator Ebrahim Rasool said that since Survé insisted that he did not want any thanks, he would tell an anecdote instead.
He explained that the two had met at school, and used detention as "political school".
Rasool said the party was feeling very upbeat about the elections, starting with special votes on Monday and Tuesday, and then the main voting day on Wednesday.
He was upbeat about the high number of special voters registered in suburbs such as Khayelitsha, which he said was a change from previous elections.
We are positive
"This election is going to be based on turnout," he said. "And we are not dealing with a one-day election, we are dealing with a three-day election."
He said the party has gone from being "in ICU" in the Western Cape last year, to being on the path to victory and officials and volunteers had to start early every day to make sure people got to the queue and stayed in the queue.
He was pleased that with the donation, their volunteers would not go hungry, and "watch the blue [DA] eat caviar".
Provincial treasurer general Maurencia Gillion said the party had travelled a hard road. "It was a difficult road that we travelled especially in this province. We are very positive."
Survé is the executive chair of Independent Media, which publishes The Star in Johannesburg, Cape Times and Cape Argus in Cape Town and The Mercury in Durban.