ANC wants more State funding, says Parliament must fund partiesJanuary 6, 2023
The cash-strapped African National Congress (ANC) wants Parliament to fund political parties, in addition to the financial backing from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
Presenting conference outcomes on the party’s finance and sustainability, NEC member Joe Maswanganyi reiterated the ANC’s dissatisfaction with the Political Party Funding Act in its current form.
“We know we have a Political Party Funding Act which has a lot of problems on its own. We are looking into reviewing that legislation because although it’s got good intentions of openness, it has unintended consequences, where our conventional funders are no longer funding us because of the new law.
“The state should increase its funding allocation, we know parties are funded by IEC, but we say Parliament must be able to fund parties.”
The ANC has been battling to staff pay salaries and other obligations, and has debt running into millions of rand.
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Changes to Political Party Funding Act to increase reporting threshold
It then proposed that the Political Party Funding Act be amended, requesting that the current R100 000 threshold be increased to R250 000 or R500 000 per year.
The governing party has also proposed that the amount of R15 million that a single individual or entity can donate be increased to between R50 million and R100 million.
The 2018 Act came into effect on 1 April 2021, and establishes the mechanism for funds to be provided to political parties represented in Parliament and provincial legislatures to undertake their work.
Maswanganyi said that even if the Act is never amended as requested by his party, the State should increase party funding.
“Parliament does also allocate money for parties through caucuses. It also funds constituency offices and various activities. And of course, that money is lesser compared to the IEC funding.
“The ANC as leader of society has huge responsibilities – operational costs and running its programmes. It’s not only staff payments, and that comes with huge financial costs.
Limits on foreign funding hurting ANC
He said the Home Affairs minister has been given the responsibility of amending the Act. Maswanganyi decried the strict legal requirements, especially on foreign funding.
“With the economic difficulties we are facing, it has become very difficult for those who fund the ANC to continue donating, especially with the limit on foreign funding. We are not saying we want secrecy around fund, we are saying let it be conducive in the manner that it used to.”
Political parties that violate certain sections of the Act could receive hefty fines, ranging from R40 000 to R1 million.
Maswanganyi denied that the business sector has an influence on ANC policies.
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