Call to strictly regulate private donations to political parties

2017-08-03 19:06
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Cape Town – Political parties must get public funding and private donations have to be strictly regulated, according to submissions to Parliament.

"Whatever comes out of here will have a bearing on South Africa for a long time," chairperson of the ad hoc committee on party funding, Vincent Smith, said on Thursday.

He was speaking after the committee received a brief overview of the 16 submissions it received from individuals, civil society, religious and other bodies, and the ANC and Azapo.

All the submissions agree that parties should get public funding, and that it should be used to promote participation in political activities. A review of the current formula for public party funding is mooted. The public should be encouraged to donate to parties through mechanisms like tax incentives. 

According to the submissions, private funding should be strictly regulated, to stop undue influence over parties, which could harm democracy.

Some of the submissions say South African donors should be prohibited, while others say they should be allowed, but with strict conditions.

All those who made submissions agree that political parties should disclose what they have received. There is however no consensus on whether donors should be forced to do the same.

Those who sent in written submissions would be invited to present these to the committee from August 15 to 18.

The public and civil society will get a second chance to make submissions after the committee has compiled a draft report.

The committee also agreed to accept the University of Cape Town’s offer to help with research.

Read more on:    parliament  |  cape town
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