'Public should be able to access all information relating to political parties'

Pansy Tlakula wants the draft Political Party Funding Bill amended to extend the amount of information parties should disclose far beyond donations.

FILE: Information Regulator Pansy Tlakula. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Information Regulator Pansy Tlakula says members of the public should be able to access all information relating to political parties and not just their funding.

The Western Cape High Court in September ruled, in a case brought by My Vote Counts, that details of private funding for parties and municipal ward candidates should be made public.

It gave parliament 18 months to amend the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to encompass this.

But Tlakula has told Parliament’s public hearings on a new draft law to regulate party funding that voters need access to all information held by parties.

Tlakula wants the draft Political Party Funding Bill amended to extend the amount of information parties should disclose far beyond the private donations they receive.

“We are of the strong view that in order for the electorate to exercise their right to vote and to make political choices they require all information held by political parties, not only information related to private funding – all information.”

Earlier, the Black First Land First grouping called for the scrapping of the R600,000 deposit a party must pay to register to fight elections nationally and in all nine provinces, claiming it was “an attack on democracy.”