IEC urges registered political parties to sign-up to the Online Party Funding System

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The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has urged all registered political parties to sign-up to the Online Party Funding System.

This as the Political Party Funding Act comes into force on Thursday. The Act provides for the political parties in national and provincial parliaments to receive public funding and private donations, which must be disclosed.

The system, which has been piloted by parties over the past two months, allows them and their donors to make electronic disclosures to the Electoral Commission via the internet.

In a statement, the IEC has reminded all registered political parties that their first quarterly disclosure of direct donations in cash or kind above R100 000 is due at the end of the first quarter.

To promote transparency donors who make direct donations above that threshold must also declare these to the IEC on the Online Party Funding System within 30 days. The Electoral Commission will make this publicly available quarterly on its website.

Political Party Funding Act comes into effect on April 1:

Concerns about the Act

On Tuesday, the leader of  One South Africa Movement Mmusi Maimane called for the review of the Act.  Maimane said the Political Funding Act in its current form only makes allowance for political parties, which has disadvantaged independents in previous local government elections.

“One of the key limitations about why independents have not done well in the past is because they are financially inhibited not many of them have got money I think the most powerful thing about letting independents stand. I always say to people in a party you buy one, you get the whole party for free whereas with independents even if people look at the issue of corruption you are dealing with an individual which means you can hold them to account at the source and deal with the person.

Political Analyst Somadoda Fikeni speaks on whether the Act will provide for efficient regulation of campaign financing: