ANC looks at independent party funding

The ANC is looking into establishing an independent institution to fund political parties over elections.

The ANC’s head of elections Malusi Gigaba speaks to media at the Daily Maverick's The Gathering in Johannesburg on 10 April 2014. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) says it's looking into the establishment of an independent institution to fund political parties during elections to eliminate the fear of private funders influencing leaders behind the scenes.

The issue of party political funding was debated at length at the Daily Maverick's ' The Gathering' conference, held in Johannesburg on Thursday.

The ANC, opposition parties and Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) leaders discussed what the effects of private funders were and why releasing the names of the donors could have dire consequences.

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille has argued that the opposition is willing to disclose who its donors are but has been asked not to do so because companies fear losing business from the ANC.

"There's nothing that stops them from saying that they give us money."

But Cosatu's Zwelinzima Vavi says parties have a moral responsibility to do so.

"We know what the cost of hidden funding in relation to the morality of society is."

The ANC's head of elections Malusi Gigaba says the party is considering proposing a separate trust.

"You might have to establish a democracy trust fund, sponsored by the private sector."

The issue came under the spotlight earlier this year, following reports a secret donor was between the failed merger between the DA and Agang South Africa.