NEWS & ANALYSIS

Parliament must do more to boost transparency in party politics – R2K

Organisation says people of SA have a right to know who is bankrolling political parties

R2K Statement: Parliament must do more to boost transparency in party politics!

12 June 2018

On Friday 08 June, Right2Know made a submission to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Parliament’s Political Party Funding Bill to call for more to be done to ensure full transparency in the funding and finances of South Africa’s political parties, and to ensure a healthy multi-party democracy.

The people of South Africa have a right to know who is bankrolling the political parties and candidates that seek their votes, and how those funds are spent.

Lower the threshold for disclosure

The current Bill exempts donations below R100,000 from being subject to disclosure. In our view this threshold is too high and may exclude the majority of donations that parties receive. The minimum threshold for disclosure should be reduced from R100 000 and should be set no higher than the average household monthly income.

Boost political diversity

The formula to allocate public funding should be adjusted to promote political diversity, with a greater proportion of funds shared equally among all political parties, and a lesser amount shared in accordance with proportional representation.

The lack of transparency and regulation on private donations to political parties has created a climate of secrecy and political inequality, which has allowed corruption to thrive, eroded public faith in the electoral system, and undermined the values of the Constitution.

We acknowledge the efforts of the Committee to explore meaningful reforms to South Africa's political landscape. In addition to a written submission, R2K has requested an opportunity to make an oral presentation on the submission to the committee.

We will continue to work closely with our allied organisation My Vote Counts to ensure that ordinary South Africans know and understand the impact of secret party funding on the political interests that serve our country.

Issued by Busi Mtabane, Right2Know Communicator, 12 June 2018