Have your say on the political #partyfunding Bill!

Nov. 19, 2017 (1 year, 5 months ago)

Recently, Media24 readers helped Parliament's Committee on Funding of Political Parties reach consensus that parties should disclose sources of funding to the public. There are still some obstacles MPs have to resolve in the next week before deadline. Here we unravel the jargon so you can have your say:

What should be the threshold?

What size donation can influence a political party? Would R100 000 capture a party if it were not declared? What amount must trigger a party to inform the IEC and public who gave it the money? If it is too low, it may be too much of an administrative burden. Too high and there could be undue influence. Some MPs have suggested R60 000 or R100 000 while others have not voiced an opinion yet.

What is the 90/10 split?

The Constitution says political parties in the legislatures must be given funding from the public purse "on an equitable and proportional basis" to enhance multiparty democracy. Up to now, the R140 million has been split 90% according to number of seats and 10% distributed to parties equally. Bigger parties say they should have more funding because they have a larger footprint. Smaller parties say that lack of resources means they cannot grow. Give guidance on this difficult subject which is going to be contentious.

What is a cap and why do we need it?

Donor caps mean you limit the amount of money a political party can be donated from a single source in one year. Without a limit on donations, someone could influence a party even though the amount is openly disclosed. An MP from the IFP has suggested a R20 million cap and an EFF MP has suggested R5 million so MPs are talking big money to run campaigns.

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