Ramaphosa signs Political Party Funding Bill into law

But the Electoral Commission has already indicated to Parliament that it will need at least six months to get the system functional.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: @MYANC/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - It’s now law for political parties to reveal their private funding annually but it’s unlikely to come into effect before this year’s elections.

The Presidency confirmed late on Tuesday night that President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed the Political Party Funding Bill into law, which was passed by the National Assembly late last year.

But the electoral commission has already indicated to Parliament that it will need at least six months to get the system functional.

Lobby group My Vote Counts, which took the matter to court, says that the implementation of the bill will drastically enhance transparency and accountability in the country’s political and electoral system.

The new legislation repeals a 1997 Act to better regulate the public and private funding of political parties.

It establishes a multi-party democracy fund that will fund all political parties from state coffers.

The new law will prohibit certain donations being made directly to political parties and compel them to disclose private donations to the electoral commission.

Political parties will not be allowed to accept donations from foreign governments or agencies.

The African National Congress (ANC) has welcomed the law, saying it will deepen democracy and usher in a new culture of transparency.

But My Vote Counts says that it is however regrettable that the law will not have an impact on this year’s elections and that the electorate will once again go to the polls without this crucial information.