News24

Party funds not for playing politics - Phosa

2012-06-08 20:10

Pretoria - Public representatives must not use their budgets to influence politics and create factionalism, ANC treasurer general Mathews Phosa said on Friday.

"If it is happening... that a minister, or a premier, or an MEC... uses the huge millions in their budget in a factional manner to play politics in our party.... we will frown upon that," Phosa told reporters in Pretoria.

"They must be sanctioned for that if it's factually proved," he added.

He was briefing the media following a two-day workshop on political party funding attended by African National Congress regional treasurers from across the country.

The ANC must grow into a modern, professional party, he said.

"Because it's a ruling party it must set a moral standard, we will insist on that."

No-one occupying a public position should use their power, position or budget to influence politics or support factions within the ANC, he said.

Political parties needed funding to operate but money was dangerous and could lead to corruption and abuse.

"We should not have a situation where an individual... or a company is able to have too much undue influence on a political party or a political system."

He warned that if reforms were not made now, the corrupting effects of money would get worse.

"Soon the problem will escape beyond the possibility of meaningful control.

If this happens, we will regret our inaction today.

"Our democracy should not be available or sold to the highest bidder," he said.

The workshop participants had recommended a cap on private funding and perhaps foreign funding.

"There is room for private funding but it must be regulated. At the moment it is not."

Phosa said the ANC would not take money from criminals or tainted sources.

However, party members as citizens could do business with government and donate money to the ANC.

Phosa said the ANC's investment wing, Chancellor House - which benefited from a deal with parastatal Eskom - had come been mentioned at the workshop.

"The criticism is that it is involved in areas where there is conflict, [so] it benefits from the State," he said.

Participants resolved that the ANC should not be allowed to receive money from the State or parastatals.

The workshop considered four areas which needed to be transformed: the control of private donations; increased public funding; expenditure limits; and the introduction of greater transparency.

One of the recommendations to come out of the workshop was that taxpayers should help fund political parties in elections.

"[When] we look at all other democracies, the taxpayer is paying for elections, in support of democracy," Phosa said.

"South Africa's situation is that not a cent is paid by taxpayers for elections, whether it be national, provincial or local government."

At the moment, political parties have to raise their own funds.

Taxpayers' money could be used to conduct research and to train public representatives - such as members of Parliament and MECs - as it is done in Germany.

"Now we don't just throw the guys in Parliament and have the troubles that we had last week and say, 'oh they are not so effective, they are not so disciplined', you must train them," Phosa said.

The recommendations from this conference would be debated at the ANC policy conference later this month. Any resolutions taken there would need to be ratified at the party's elective conference in Mangaung in the Free State, in December.

Phosa said they would suggest that a multi-party committee in Parliament considers political funding and then make recommendations.

Comments
  • TSOTSI Smilification - 2012-06-08 20:16

    All talk and no action... MORE FALSE WORDS FROM FALSE PROPHETS... THEY ARE JUST LOOKING FOR SUPPORT AFTER A LOT OF RECENT SCANDALS, nothing will come out of it. "If it is happening... that a minister, or a premier, or an MEC... uses the huge millions in their budget in a factional manner to play politics in our party.... we will frown upon that," YOU GUYS SEEM PRETTY HAPPY FILLING YOUR POCKETS THOUGH! WE HAVE ALL SEEN YOU EATING CAKE.

      infijar.ken - 2012-06-09 10:24

      So this means that it is OK to steal the Tax Payers money, but not the Party's money.

  • Dan - 2012-06-08 20:22

    When are you going to train these guys you are talking about...are they trainable at all..who is capable of training them ? ha..ha..ha.. We saw only two individuals who have been prosecuted and found guilty of corruption..Schaik and Selebe...where are all the other scores and scores of corrupt civil servants and others who have never been prosecuted. Get first things first Mr Phosa get it done and when a job is well done you come and ask for money...not before. Sorry pal.. we hear so much rhetoric and political talk..we want to do this and we want to that..nothing happens..ofcourse you people..i.e. the politians think the public is a lot of stooges...far from it my man...

  • Ivan Overton - 2012-06-08 20:39

    A bit late now, don'tcha think, after all these years?

  • bernpm - 2012-06-08 20:44

    "One of the recommendations to come out of the workshop was that taxpayers should help fund political parties in elections". Only if your books are in the "public domain" and can be controlled by anyone taxpayer who wants to do so.

  • Daniel - 2012-06-08 21:14

    Not so true - I remember opposition parties complaining bitterly in the first post-apartheid elections that the money raised through national debt was being distributed unevenly for party election campaigns (by uneven you can read heavily to the ANC and dribbles to the rest). Now I'm fairly confident that its taxpayers who foot this bill. I am all for training public servants using taxpayers money regardless of which political party they support, but when it gets "equitably" distributed to political parties themselves for electioneering I am not at all happy.

  • Carl - 2012-06-08 21:57

    Oh hallow..Mathews dude....I think your'e a little late. Have you been sick?

  • johannj.verheem - 2012-06-08 22:02

    Parties should be funded, officially and by means of donations, in terms of their membership.

  • Irene - 2012-06-08 23:17

    http://www.thezimbabwemail.com/mobile/zimbabwe/12019-mugabe-to-fund-malema-uk-trip.html

  • logen.naidoo - 2012-06-09 00:03

    \South Africa's situation is that not a cent is paid by taxpayers for elections, whether it be national, provincial or local government.\\r\nThat's because the tax payers money is already in some corrupt politicians pocket as soon as we pay our taxes. Get off the drugs and then you will realise that the tax payers are paying all you guys MILLIONS of rands salary every year. Use that money to fund your parties or unless it lying in a SWISS account already. Take away king ZWelintinis allowance as well of R59 million (a person that does nothint for this country) and u can save more money for the poor.

  • Johan - 2012-06-09 01:25

    My two cents... as a free market kind of guy... I have to say that I'm pleasantly surprised the points which I agree with are coming from within the ANC, they are in terms of democracy and our economy truly mature decisions (lets hope it's not just talk):

      Johan - 2012-06-09 02:14

      Agree: 1. "Participants resolved that the ANC(or any political party) be allowed to receive money from the State or Parastatals." - That should be obvious... 100% of public funds should be used to improve the country and the population's standard of living not that of a party or their elites. 2. "The workshop participants had recommended a cap on private funding and perhaps (should def also apply to) foreign funding" and/or from other countries. This will stop huge local and/or global companies from buying parliament with donations as can be said about the US senate/gov and their "lobby groups" that has and are continuing to exert their influence over policies. Otherwise the little guys that form the back bone of our economy gets screwed every time.

      Johan - 2012-06-09 03:13

      Disagree: 1. "One of the recommendations to come out of the workshop was that taxpayers should help fund political parties in elections." Yes, if you want SA's limited public funds to be squandered and not spent where it's most needed... educating and uplifting the poor which will grow and strengthen our economy. Question: Who will decide how much which party gets? 2."Taxpayers' money could be used to conduct research and to train public representatives - such as members of Parliament and MECs." Public funds aka taxpayers money is already being used for government research (should research land ownership). I think most will agree that for someone to be put in a position where they actually run SA, they would know what the hell they are doing and that they don't need "on-the-job-training" for the job they are doing, this is ridiculous! I don't believe for a second that the ANC can't find skilled people that can do the job within their ranks. Its becoming clear to the majority of SA that fighting for power by the ANC elites and protecting their interests has replaced their mandate to serve the people of SA to the best of their ability.

  • petrus.fortuin - 2012-06-09 12:16

    None, because nothing would change.

  • sandy.langenstrass - 2012-06-09 12:17

    No way in HELL should taxpayers money be used for elections...TAX money is supposed to be used on services for the people (education,hospitals, roads ect;)...MEC have stolen enough for themselves as it is...and they still wish to reduce the funds by using it for elections....NO WAYS EVER NO..NO.

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