The Electoral Commission of South Africa’s public hearings into draft regulations of the new Political Party Funding Act will kick off in Cape Town on Thursday.
Political parties have been forced to disclose their funders to the public after the NGO, My Vote Counts won a Constitutional Court case in June last year.
The court gave Parliament 18 months to amend the legislation to include a requirement for the recording, preservation and reasonable disclosure of information on the private funding of political parties and independent candidates.
Parliament passed the new bill last year and President Cyril Ramaphosa signed it into law in February this year.
My Vote Counts, Media Monitoring SA, Congress of South African Trade Unions and amaBungane will be among the first groups to make submissions.
The IEC Chief Electoral Officer, Sy Mamabolo says if well implemented the legislation will strengthen the country’s democracy.
“This piece of legislation is an important component of the total architecture of the political system in the country. It’s an accountability mechanism that’s been introduced to ensure openness and transparency in our politics, so it’s an important element of our architecture in the political system.”
New Chief Executive for party funding
Meanwhile the Electoral Commission has appointed George Mahlangu as its new Chief Executive for Party Funding.
Mahlangu is a seasoned financial expert having served as a Chief Financial Officer in the private and public sectors for many years.
Mahlangu will operate at the level of a Deputy Chief Electoral Officer and report directly to the Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo.
Over two days the Electoral Commission will hold public hearings into the draft regulations for party funding in Cape Town.