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NCOP approves Political Party Funding Bill ahead of national polls

The bill provides for the creation of a Multi-Party Democracy Fund to be administered by the Independent Electoral Commission, which will distribute donations equitably among parties.

FILE: Parliament of South Africa in Cape Town. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) has approved the Political Party Funding Bill, making it possible for it to become law before next year’s national and provincial elections.

The bill provides for the creation of a Multi-Party Democracy Fund to be administered by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), which will distribute donations equitably among parties.

It also introduces a strict new regime for transparency and accountability when it comes to direct private donations to parties.

The green light from the NCOP means the Political Party Funding Bill can now be sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa to sign it into law.

The bill will introduce a new era of accountability when it comes to private donations.

The African National Congress (ANC)’s Zukiswa Ncitha said: “At no time during the last 24 years have political parties been obliged to be transparent about their sources of funding.”

The United Democratic Movement (UDM)’s Lennox Gaehler said: “The days of private donors buying parties are gone, with this bill here.”

The bill puts a cap on the amount any individual or entity can donate to a party in a year and bans funding from foreign governments or persons unless it’s for training, skills or policy development.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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