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IEC releases inaugural quarterly report on party funding

Only three political parties made declarations of qualifying donations received from donors, the Electoral Commission (IEC) revealed on Thursday.

Releasing the 2021/22 first quarter Party Funding Disclosures Report, IEC Deputy Commissioner Janet Love said the political parties funding regime makes it peremptory for all registered political parties to disclose to the Commission all donations above the R100 000 threshold in a year.

Love said the total value of these declared donations in the first quarter amount to R30 008 841.74.

“Two represented political parties and one unrepresented political party made declarations of qualifying direct donations. These are the African National Congress (ANC), the Democratic Alliance (DA) and ActionSA.

“The ANC and DA declared individual donations received of R10 720 000.00 and R15 983 751.48 respectively. ActionSA declared total direct donations amounting to R3 305 090.26,” Love said.

The Electoral Commission said of the submissions received, the two political parties, namely the DA and ActionSA, declared donations in-kind, with a total value of R855 685.41. This is made up of R499 595.15 for the DA and R356 090.26 for ActionSA.

In terms of donations from foreign sources, the Electoral Commission said two foreign entities made direct donations to the DA during this period.

“These donations were compliant with requirements set out in section 8 (4) of the Act, namely, that such donations must only be for the purposes of ‘training or skills development of a member of a political party or policy development by a political party’. There was no breach or contravention of the Act in this regard detected at this stage,” the Commission said.

As part of the Commission’s efforts to foster compliance with the Act, all registered political parties, both represented and unrepresented, were sent reminders to submit their declarations before the due date of 31 July 2021.

“Although not all political parties responded, a significant number of them, especially among the represented parties, reported in writing that they did not receive qualifying donations in the reporting period; qualifying donations being those above the threshold amount of R100 000,” the Commission said.

Meanwhile, two donors have failed to comply with the dual disclosure requirement, as stipulated in Section 9 of the Act, which requires that both the political party receiving donations and its juristic donors (corporates and entity) must declare such donations.

“The donations affected are in relation to the ANC. Although the political party has made the declaration and therefore complied from its end, the donors had not complied with the requirement to separately declare the donation made. This means that the record includes what is referred to as single-legged donation reports,” the Commission said.

Multi-Party Democracy Fund (MPDF)

The Electoral Commission said in the first quarter of the 2021/22 financial year, the Fund received a single contribution from a member of the public, Paul Malcolm Graham, who made a contribution of R2 000.

“Paul Graham was kind and proud enough of his support for multi-party democracy that he waived his right to anonymity. Regulation 5(3) of the Presidential Regulations, read with sections 6(7) and 26(2) of the Act, provides that money in the MPDF will only be due for distribution once the amount in the fund reaches a total of R1 million. The effect of this is that to date, there have not been any political party allocation from the Multi-Party Democracy Fund,” the Commission said.

The Commission has appealed to the South African public and corporates alike to open their purses and support multi-party democracy.

“The sustainability of the Multi-Party Democracy Fund is a critical step towards a healthy democracy, as envisaged in our Constitution,” the Commission said.

The Multi-Party Democracy Fund is intended to enhance multi-party democracy, whereby the Independent Electoral Commission is required to open an account for the fund with a registered bank, which will be administered by a Chief Executive Officer, appointed in terms of the Electoral Act. –

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