CAPE TOWN: The historical Bill was approved by parliament at its sitting this afternoon and the it will now go to the National Council of Provinces for consideration.
The National Assembly has just passed the Political Party Funding Bill which will for the first time force political parties to declare their funders and will also increase their funding from the state.
The African National Congress (ANC) voted in favour of the Bill in line with its 52nd National Conference which states that; “the ANC should champion the introduction of a comprehensive system of public funding of representative political parties in the different spheres of government and civil society organisations, as part of strengthening the tenets of our new democracy. This should include putting in place an effective regulatory architecture for private funding of political parties and civil society groups to enhance accountability and transparency to the citizenry.”
All political parties represented in parliament voted for the bill except the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) which criticised the Bill, especially its Section 10 which says; “no person or entity may deliver a donation to a member of a political party other than for party political purposes.”
The adoption of this Bill by NA means that for the first time in 24 years, political parties will be obliged to be transparent about their sources of funding. The Bill also limits the amount individuals or entities that can donate to any one political party to R15 million in a calendar year.
Last year in June, the National Assembly resolved to establish a multi-party ad hoc committee to inquire into and make recommendations, by 30 November 2017, on the funding of political parties represented in Parliament and the Provincial Legislatures. On 28 November 2017, the committee tabled the Bill in the NA and recommended that Parliament pass the Bill. The Bill lapsed at the end of 2017.
“On 28 February, the Bill was revived and the committee re-established with a mandate to consider and report in more detail on the financial implications of the proposed Bill. It tabled a report on these on 20 March 2018 and the NA considered and approved this report today. In this report, the committee proposed no amendments to the Bill tabled on 28 November 2017.”
“The regulation of political party funding is key to our constitutional democracy and will improve transparency, accountability and fairness in political party funding,” said parliament in a statement.