OPINION

We welcome council's call for legislation to regulate political party funding – MVC

Organisation says lack of regulation around political parties' finances has created a breeding ground for corruption

Statement of the Alliance Political Council, including the ANC, SACP, COSATU and SANCO

25 October 2016

My Vote Counts (MVC) welcomes the statement by the Alliance Political Council with regards to the stance it has taken to call on ‘government to introduce legislation to regulate political party funding.’

The lack of regulation around political parties' finances has created a breeding ground for corruption, secrecy, and state capture. In order for democracy to thrive, we need party funding to be transparent and carefully regulated, to ensure that wealthy individuals, companies and even foreign governments are not able to influence politicians by making secret donations. MVC has continuously called on the South African parliament and the Department of Justice and Correctional Affairs to enact legislation to regulate political party funding in South Africa.

MVC has filed court papers in the Cape Town High Court to declare the Promotion of Access to Information Act(PAIA) unconstitutional and invalid in terms of its failure to allow for access to information on the funding of political parties. The ANC, listed as one of the respondents, has not responded to our court paper. However, the Minister of Justice and Correctional Affairs indicated their intention to oppose the application but had not filed their opposing papers by the deadline.

MVC is also reminded that the ANC has made these statements in the past, including during the IDASA Court Case in 2005. We are therefore excited to read that the ANC and its alliance partners are recommitting to introducing legislation to regulate political party funding, and we remain cautiously optimistic that this will be addressed with the urgency it deserves.

Issued by Janine Ogle, Coordinator, My Vote Counts, 25 October 2016

MY VOTE COUNTS is a civil society organisation aimed at improving the accountability, transparency and inclusiveness of elections and politics in South Africa.