'Taxpayers must contribute toward elections'

The DA on Friday slammed the ANC for suggesting that taxpayers should contribute toward elections.

ANC treasurer general Mathews Phosa is seen during a break at the ANC's National Executive Committee meeting in Irene, 18 May 2012. Picture: SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - The opposition bench on Friday said a push by the ANC to have political parties and elections funded by taxpayers would result in the mismanagement of public funds.

The ruling party announced it wanted to establish a multi-party committee in Parliament to look at a new funding model.

The ANC's Mathews Phosa said the party wants a new approach to funding elections.

"We think the taxpayer must contribute toward those elections because it's about democracy."

The party held a two-day workshop on political party funding attended by African National Congress regional treasurers from across the country.

But, the Democratic Alliance's James Selfe disagreed.

"South African taxpayers have a duty to support multiparty democracy, but not to support the election campaign for political parties."

Self said the proposal by the ANC was an attempt to open the public coffers to further abuse.

Meanwhile, the ANC said it would not allow any other political party to capitalise on any of the challenges it was experiencing.

The Congress of the South African Trade Union's Zwelinzima Vavi has warned the ruling party may face a serious challenge from the DA by 2019, unless it closes the gap between its leaders and regular South Africans.

Vavi also said a new ethos is needed within the tri-partite alliance.

The DA's Musi Mmaimane said a true democracy requires shifts in power.

"We look forward to the next election. We've set our sights firmly on Gauteng."

But the ANC's Keith Khoza said they would not leave any gaps for other political parties.

"We've always been able to rise above our challenges as an organisation."