Inside the draft PAIA Bill: Records to be declared every quarter

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Political parties will have to disclose their funders every quarter if a new bill becomes law in its current form.

On Wednesday morning, Parliament's legal services and the Department of Justice briefed the Portfolio Committee on Justice on the Promotion of Access to Information Amendment Bill (PAIA).

Last June, the Constitutional Court confirmed a Western Cape High Court ruling that the PAIA was unconstitutional because it did not provide for the disclosure of information about the private funding that political parties receive.

Organisation My Vote Counts took the application to court.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng ordered Parliament to amend PAIA and "take any other measures it deems appropriate" to provide for this within 18 months. Hence, the amendment bill.

As it stands, the bill requires political parties to appoint an accounting officer, who will have to keep records of the following:

  • the identity of and amounts of money paid by all persons or entities who donates more than R100 000 per financial year;
  • all money lent to the political party;
  • any money paid on behalf of the political party for any expenses incurred by the party;
  • the provision of assets, services or facilities for the use or benefit of a political party whether on commercial terms or not;
  • and any sponsorships provided to the political party, excluding services rendered by volunteers.
  • Furthermore, the accounting officer will have to make the records available every quarter on the party's social media platforms, or at least two months before an election.
  • The records must also be kept for at least five years.

The bill does not deal with the funding of individual party members' leadership ambitions within a party, which is currently a hot topic in South Africa in the wake of revelations about the funding of President Cyril Ramaphosa's campaign to become ANC president in December 2017.

Committee chairperson, Bulelani Magwanishe, said the deadline for public comments on the bill was the end of August and the committee will start to deal with the bill on September 17.

The Bill can be accessed here.

Comments can be emailed to Siaybamkela Mthonjeni at by no later than August 31 at 16:30.

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