IEC publishes draft regulations for party funding Act

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The Electoral Commission on 1 March 2019 published for comment draft regulations for the Political Party Funding Act.

The Political Party Funding Act provides for and regulates the public and private funding of political parties, in particular:

the establishment and management of Represented Political Parties’ Fund and the Multiparty Democracy Fund;
to prohibit certain donations made directly to political parties;
to regulate disclosure of donations accepted;
to determine the duties of political parties in respect of funding;
to provide for powers and duties of the Commission;
to provide for administrative fines;
to repeal the Public Funding of Represented Political Parties Act, 1997;  and
provide for transitional matters.

The Draft Political Party Funding Regulations 2019, read in conjunction with Schedule 2 of the Act, are intended to give effect to these provisions and cover all chapters of the Act except Chapter 5 which deals with enforcement.

The implementation plan for the Act is to phase in the Act over a period of three years in line with the availability of funding and capacity in the Electoral Commission.

First to come into effect will be Chapters 1 – 4 which deal with the establishment of the Represented Political Party Fund (RPPF) and the Multiparty Democracy Fund (MDF), direct funding of political parties and disclosure of such funding, and the duties of political parties respectively, and Chapter 6 which deals with general provisions. Chapter 5 will be implemented later.

Among the key provisions of the prescript is the requirement on political parties and donors to make separate disclosures of all donations in excess of the declaration threshold of R100 000 per year.

The Electoral Commission is currently developing an electronic online submission system to facilitate easy and efficient declarations.

Stakeholders have until 21 March 2019 to comment and make submissions on the draft regulations to rampershadn@elections.org.za

Copies of the draft regulations are available on the website under the website’s Document Library party funding.