WATCH: New political party funding act unlikely to be enforced before 2019 elections

2019-01-23 16:15

Chief electoral officer of the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC), Sy Mamabolo, has welcomed the signing into law of the Political Party Funding Act, but it seems that it won't take effect in time for the looming general elections.

"The assenting to the act is another historic milestone in the continuing entrenchment of electoral democracy in our country and will serve to enhance transparency and help to ensure an informed electorate into the future," Mamabolo said at a media briefing on Wednesday.

It is unlikely that the act, which forces parties to disclose private funding, will be enforced before the elections in May because it needs to be enacted at least six months before an election.

READ: Ramaphosa signs bill to lay bare political party funding

"The drafting of regulations relating to the various aspects of the act is already under way and it is expected that they will be published for public comment before the end of February 2019."

"In discussions with Parliament and National Treasury, it was always envisaged that the act would be implemented in a staggered process beginning April 1, 2019, in line with the available funding and to allow for the development of capacity within the electoral commission to meet its obligations," Mamabolo said,

However, due to the time constraints and practicality, it might be impossible for political parties to disclose their funding before the elections, Mamabolo added.

10 million eligible voters not registered

Meanwhile, IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini urged the youth to register to vote in the final voter registration drive this weekend.

Of the 10 million, almost two thirds (6.5 million) are between the ages of 18 and 30, he added.

The IEC is planning special registration drives at tertiary education institutions to boost youth registration numbers.

The commission said 26 million people were on the voters' roll and that they hoped to increase that number by 1 million over the weekend.

The 22 925 registration stations across the country will be open from 8:00 to 17:00 on Saturday and Sunday. In addition to registering, voters can also visit their closest stations to check their details and confirm or update their addresses.

"Voters should take their barcoded ID book, smart card ID or temporary ID certificate when they go and register," Mashinini said.

Voters will also have to provide their addresses or descriptions of where they live to allow the commission to put them on the correct segment of the voter's roll.

Voter registration for South Africans living abroad is expected to take place between 1 and 4 February. 

Mashinini added that once President Cyril Ramaphosa proclaimed the elections, which was expected to occur in the next few weeks, the voters' roll will be sealed and no further registrations will be allowed.  

DA billboard under investigation 

During the media briefing, the IEC also confirmed that they were still investigating a complaint about a DA billboard erected in Johannesburg. 

Mamabolo said that complaints of such a nature were thoroughly investigated and the matter would be dealt with in the normal course. 

READ: ANC lays complaint at IEC over DA's billboard

The billboard in question listed the names of victims in several tragedies in South Africa under the slogan: "The ANC is killing us."

Read more on:    iec  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  glen mashinini  |  sy mamabolo  |  election
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