DA: Party political funding should be lowest priority

2014-07-28 00:00

IT is unfair to expect the taxpayer to endlessly fund political parties.

This was the reaction of the head of the DA’s Federal Executive, James Selfe, after sister paper City Press reported the ANC’s chief whip in Parliament Stone Sizani, had confirmed the ruling party is working on a bill to get more money for political parties in Parliament. The matter was reportedly high on the agenda of the ANC caucus at its lekgotla during the weekend.

Political parties in Parliament currently get financial grants from the legislature, as well as the Independent Electoral Commission, to pay for their administrative functions and manage their electorates. Parties also raise funds from donors and investments.

City Press reported that just the provincial legislatures had since 2007 granted almost R1 billion to parties.

Spokesperson for Sizani’s office Moloto Mothapo did not react to questions yesterday. He did state per e-mail the results of ANC’s caucus will be announced at a press conference in Parliament today. Selfe said there was adequate legislation to regulate funding of political parties, and the country needed more money spent on schools, hospitals, roads and policing. “These must be priorities and that is why the DA feels that the funding of political parties must be very low on the list of priorities.

He said while party funding is important to enable smaller parties to function in a multi-party democracy the ANC should be the last to ask for more funds.

Self said the ANC makes a lot of money through its investment arm, Chancellor House, and would not need funds if it was not for its profligate misspending.

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