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IEC told to lower political funding declaration to R50k

For two days, the Independent Electoral Commission will hold hearings on draft regulations for the Political Party Funding Act which was signed into law earlier this year.

CEO of IEC Simon Mamabulo addresses those gathered at the IEC ROC for the election results. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Public hearings into proposed regulations to govern the funding of political parties commenced on Thursday in Cape Town.

For two days, the Independent Electoral Commission will hold hearings on draft regulations for the Political Party Funding Act which was signed into law earlier this year.

Some civil society groups wanted the threshold for the declaration of political party funding lowered from R100,000 to R50,000.

Some also called for anonymity when it came to funding, so it didn't scare people away from donating.

Khaliel Moses of Amandla.mobi, an organisation which focuses on social justice issues, said R100,000 was a lot of money and should be lowered so it covers even the smallest political parties which also received donations.

“We’re concerned about the minimum amount for which political parties have to disclose where the funds come from. R100,000 is a very large amount of money and for many smaller political parties, they may have never received donations that large. We call on the IEC to lower the threshold of the minimum amount to R50,000.”

The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution’s Lawson Naidoo also made a submission.

He said the primary rationale for the establishment of the Multi-Party Democracy Fund was so donors who did not wish to reveal their identity could still make donations.

“So the issue of anonymity, we believe, is an important one. Therefore, we will submit that the only determination which the commission should be required to make is whether a contribution to that fund arises from a legal source or not,” Naido added.

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