How the Political Party Funding Act will work

IEC officials addressed a workshop on the Political Party Funding Act, which comes into effect on 1 April.

FILE: Political parties at the IEC code of conduct ceremony in Midrand. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said that it had the power to suspend or withhold payments from political parties should there be irregular donations.

The commission’s officials addressed a workshop on the Political Party Funding Act, which comes into effect on 1 April.

READ: Political Party Funding Act comes into play on 1 April - Presidency

According to the law, political parties cannot receive funds from foreign governments or their entities, South African government departments and state-owned entities among others.

There are also thresholds on the amounts payable.

Other regulations under the act include:

  • all donors have to be declared.

  • the IEC publishing the declarations online on a quarterly basis.

  • R15 million being the maximum amount any individual or corporation may donate annually to any individual party.

  • the IEC tabling an annual report in Parliament with a full record of all donations.

  • IEC administering a multi-party democracy fund that will receive monies from people not interested in funding a particular political party.

The IEC said that it could enforce a variety of measures should political parties be found on the wrong side of the new law.

READ MORE: New Political Party Funding bill not fair to donors, says ANC’s Duarte

The Act requires the disclosure of all donations above R100,000, with a maximum of contributions capped at R15 million every financial year.

However, where transgressions are picked up, whether due to the source or the money or how it was used, the commission would act, as explained by the commission's George Mahlangu.

"There is also a portion of administration fines in terms of transgression of certain provisions of this legislation and of course there are offences and penalties that will be subjected to those who will transgress the regulations."

The law also allows for reviews and appeals of the commission’s decision regarding non-adherence.

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