ACDP welcomes increase of party funding from IEC

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The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) in Parliament says the Electoral Commission (IEC) should continue to increase the funding of political parties represented in the national legislature.

The party was responding to the commission’s report for the 2022/2023 financial year.

The report reveals that the commission has disbursed R342 million to be shared among political parties serving in the national legislature.

This is a significant increase compared to the R169 million in the previous financial year.

ACDP Chief Whip, Steve Swart says increased political funding will enhance multi-party democracy in South Africa.

“The African Christian Democratic Party takes note of the IEC report indicating the amount it disbursed to political parties in terms of the Political Party Funding Act which was significantly higher than in previous years. This funding we believe is necessary to enable political parties to compete to some degree on a level playing field as certain parties receive donations running to millions of rands from private companies. It is also necessary to enhance a multi-party democracy as required by Section 236 of the Constitution as it costs millions of rands to run a party and conduct an election campaign effectively.”

Parties cut off from funding

Meanwhile, leadership squabbles in the National Freedom Party (NFP) have prompted the commission to suspend its allocation of funds to the party for the 2022/2023 financial year.

That’s according to former NPF MP Shaik Emam.

The commission has confirmed in its annual report tabled before Parliament that the NFP is one of four political parties that did not receive funding from the electoral body.

It says parties including the Congress of the People (COPE), the African Independent Congress (AIC) and the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) failed to comply with the requirements of the Political Party Funding Act.

“They last pay (to) the party in 2021. What I can say the financials are all up to date. The problem is that Section 9 is a form that you have to complete telling the IEC when you receive funding from them – who the leadership of the party is annually with your financial statements so that they know who is responsible in the party. And that is what the NFP has failed to be able to do.”

Political Party Funding Act

Under the act, political parties are prohibited from receiving funds from foreign governments or agencies, foreign persons or entities, organs of state or state-owned enterprises.

Parties may, however, receive funding from foreign entities for training, skills development or policy development.

No member of a political party may receive a donation other than for political party purposes.

Meanwhile, the IEC has flagged that the act needs more power to enable the commission to follow up on parties that do not disclose donations.

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