The ANC in the Western Cape has decided to return a R1m donation from Sekunjalo Investments chairperson Iqbal Survè.
Survè made the donation at an intimate, but public, gathering at a restaurant in Cape Town's upmarket Silo District on Sunday.
It is understood that R1m was donated.
The party's provincial acting chairperson Khaya Magaxa on Tuesday said that most donation requests go through a "thorough assessment" before being accepted by the party.
"Due to the fact that this happened a mere three days before the election, we had no time to do such an assessment or to consider how such a donation would be perceived given the revelations made at the Commission of Inquiry into allegations of impropriety regarding the Public Investment Corporation," Magaxa said.
"We remain confident that, despite the fact that we need all help at this stage, returning the donation is the right to do."
The ANC's provincial treasurer has been instructed to return the donation immediately.
On Sunday, Survè said he had "never hidden the fact that I have supported the ANC".
He said the donation was because of his desire to "deepen democracy".
"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 the 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.