IEC welcomes Political Party Funding Act coming into effect on 1 April

The IEC said that coincided with the start of a new financial year for the public sector and political parties.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa held a meeting with political party leaders on 18 March 2020 to discuss the national response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) disaster. Picture: Kevin Brandt/Eyewitness News.

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Friday said it welcomed the coming into effect of the Political Party Funding Act from 1 April.

The IEC said that coincided with the start of a new financial year for the public sector and political parties.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has on Friday signed the commencement and implementation of Political Party Funding Act; from 1 April 2021, political parties will have to declare all donations to the IEC.

According to the act, any donation above R100,000 has to be disclosed by both the donor and the recipient of the funds.

If both parties fail to disclose, they will be face consequences.

The IEC said the implementation of the act was one of the most important and far-reaching enhancements to South Africa’s electoral democracy in the past 25 years.

IEC deputy CEO Mawethu Mosery said: “We look forward to gazetting the regulations that will apply to this act and in the next week, we will finalise the administrative processes and other internal processes.”

The act also makes it illegal for parties to receive donations from foreign governments or agencies, foreigners as well as organs of state or state-owned enterprises.

My Vote Counts on Friday said the Political Party Funding Act was ground-breaking.

The organisation took legal action to ensure that the Bill was signed into law.

Director at My Vote Counts Joel Bregman said South Africans would have a better idea who was funding the country's political parties.

“What will happen is that parties will have to make quarterly disclosures to the IEC who will then make this information publicly available. But there’s another piece of connected legislation – the Promotion of Access to Information Amendment Act and when this comes into effect, this will actually compel parties to publish it on their social media sites and on their websites and keep it there for a period of five years.”

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