Party funding: EFF one of 502 parties who failed to declare funding sources to IEC

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The EFF has not declared its funding sources as required by the Political Party Funding Act.
The EFF has not declared its funding sources as required by the Political Party Funding Act.
Photo by PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images
  • The EFF has not declared its funding sources as required by the Political Party Funding Act.
  • Altogether, 502 political parties have not disclosed their funders as per the requirement of the legislation.
  • Only the ANC, DA and ActionSA declared their financial interests.

As a loud radical voice of South African politics, the EFF is not so loud about its finances.

The "red berets" are one of 502 political parties that have not disclosed their funders as per the requirement of the new Political Party Funding Act.

On Thursday, the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) released its first quarterly report on political parties' donations and funds.

READ | FACT CHECK: Has the EFF always supported the Political Party Funding Act, as Malema claims?

In terms of the Act, political parties are required to disclose all donations above R100 000  and the IEC is required to publish all declarations made on a quarterly basis.

Only the ANC, DA and ActionSA made declarations of qualifying direct donations.

The ANC and the DA declared individual donations of R10.7 million and R15.9 million respectively.

ActionSA declared total direct donations amounting to R 3.3 million.

IEC vice-chairperson Janet Love said: 

Our political parties funding regime makes it peremptory for all registered political parties to disclose to the IEC all donations above the R100 000 threshold in a year. Regarding the upper end of the threshold, no donations may be made by a single donor above R 15 million in a year.

Chief Executive for Party Funding, George Mahlangu said, in total 502 parties have not disclosed their funders as per the requirement of the new Act. 

Of these 502, 108 parties have been written to by the IEC request that they comply and they have responded to this communique. 

Mahlangu, however, also indicated that  393 “smaller parties” have given the excuse that they currently do not get any funds from the Multi-Party Democracy Fund as they are not represented in the National Assembly. 

READ | Political parties miss deadline to disclose funds over R100k as IEC dithers to enforce Act

As such, these parties has allegedly indicated that they cannot afford to hire registered auditors as required by the IEC to look into their book and make submission to the electoral commission each quarter. 

Mahlangu said as part of the commission’s efforts to foster compliance with the Act, all registered political parties, both represented and unrepresented, were sent reminders to submit their declarations before the due date.

The IEC said:

Although not all political parties responded, a significant number of them, especially among the represented parties, reported in writing that they did not receive qualifying donations in the reporting period. Qualifying donations being those above the threshold amount of R100 000.

Opposed

In March 2018, the EFF was the only party that opposed the bill when it was before the National Assembly (NA).

When the bill was debated in the NA, EFF MP Natasha Ntlangwini opened her speech with the following words: "House chairperson, the EFF rejects this bill because once again it repeats political imbalances without achieving any meaningful transparency."

But according to party leader Julius Malema, the EFF has never opposed the Party Funding Bill.

The EFF has also been embroiled in the VBS Bank Mutual scandal, but the party's leaders maintain that they never received money from the looted bank.

Meanwhile, the IEC said it wouldn't be treating donations received through crowdfunding differently from any other donations.

READ | Elections 2021: Mashaba eyes outright victory in all 6 municipalities ActionSA will be contesting

IEC chief executive for party funding George Mahlangu said should a member of the 'crowd' donate any amount above R100 000, it has to be declared to the commission.

"Any amount that is less than R100 000, political parties are obliged to keep a record to that effect. Part of what the political parties are supposed to do is appoint the auditors. So, we will pick up at the end of the financial year, once the audit has been conducted, that the political party has complied, or has not complied with the provisions of the legislation for any amount that is below the threshold," he said.

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