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R2K: Approval of political party funding bill a victory for transparency

The bill, approved on Wednesday, compels political parties and independent candidates to disclose any donation over the R100,000 threshold.

FILE: Political parties at the IEC code of conduct ceremony in Midrand on 20 March 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Right2Know has welcomed the approval of the Promotion of Access of Information Amendment Bill by Parliament.

The bill, approved on Wednesday, compels political parties and independent candidates to disclose any donation over the R100,000 threshold.

It must be recorded and made available for public scrutiny.

The amendment follows court action by lobby group My Vote Counts that ended with the Constitutional Court finding that the Act didn't cover the disclosure of private political funding.

Right2Know said this was a victory for transparency on political funding.

But the organisation’s Ghalib Galant said the bill was meaningless if it was not implemented properly.

“I guess we’re happy that Parliament has respected the court judgment in such that it’s done the amendment process and being ratified by the National Assembly. We’re happy with that.”

The bill will now go to the National Council of Provinces for concurrence before being signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Galant said they hoped this process was not delayed: “Our concern is, it didn’t have to make the implementation of this amendment conditional upon another piece of legislation, which is also in limbo.”

Political parties have vowed to obey the bill when it becomes law.