South Africa

DONOR DISCLOSURE

Only three political parties – ANC, DA and Action SA – declared donations above R100,000 in first-ever IEC report

Illustration//South African residents stand in long queues at a voting station in Diepsloot, Johannesburg on 18 May 2011. (Photo: Gallo Images/Foto24/Cornel van Heerden) /IEC Logo. (Photo: Flickr)

Only three political parties declared donations of more than R100,00o during April and June, said the country’s elections body. These donations totalled just over R30-million.

During a media briefing on Thursday, the Independent Electoral Commission said only the ANC, DA and Action SA had declared donations of more than R100,000 between April and June 2021. 

The country’s new laws around the declarations of political party funding require parties to declare funding every three months to the IEC, which is then required to publish the information to the public. Thursday’s briefing was the first time that reporting political funding received over R100,000 had been publicly declared. 

Read in Daily Maverick: Private political funding: IEC says voters will see more transparency and accountability – eventually

Only three political parties declared donations over R100,000 received between April and 30 June, said the IEC’s Janet Love. Only three out of the 504 registered political parties countrywide declared these donations. 

Love said the three parties declared direct donations worth R30,008,841,74. They are: 

  • The national ruling ANC had R10,720,000.00 in direct donations;
  • The DA had R15,983,751.48; and
  • Action SA had R3,305,090.26.  

This is the first report on the release of party donations since April 2021 when President Cyril Ramaphosa proclaimed the date when political parties should declare any donations above R100,000. 

Read in Daily Maverick: Private political funding: IEC says voters will see more transparency and accountability – eventually

Love said the DA and Action SA also declared donations received in kind, such as training, skills development and policy development. 

The DA’s declared donations in kind amount to 499,595.15. ActionSA’s total R356,090.26

Read Daily Maverick’s interview with Action SA leader Herman Mashaba: 

Action SA’s Herman Mashaba: Unapologetic about stance on foreigners and driven to wear Joburg’s mayoral chain again

Two foreign entities – unnamed and donation not revealed – made direct donations during the reporting period. Foreign entities, besides governments or agencies, may make donations limited to R5-million per year. Love said the two entities donated to the DA and at this stage there is no breach or contravention.  

Reminders were also sent to the different political parties to declare donations before the end of June. Love added that a significant number of political parties “reported they did not receive qualifying donations” above the R100,000 threshold.

Election campaign posters on the roadside in Pretoria. (Photo: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Love said only one person contributed to the Multi-Party Democracy Fund during the three-month reporting period. Paul Graham donated R2,000 to the fund. The fund, to which the public can donate, will be disbursed to different political parties once it reaches R1,million, but only Graham’s donation has been reported so far. Love appealed to the public and corporates alike to donate to the fund to support a multiparty democracy. 

“Mr Paul Graham was kind and proud enough of his support for multi-party democracy that he waived his right to anonymity,” she added.

Love urged that donations be made in time to “avoid bottlenecks” in reporting and ensuring compliance with donations.

In terms of sanctions, according to the IEC’s website, the commission can ensure compliance with legislation associated to the Political Party Funding Act through: the recovery of money irregularly accepted or spent, imposing administrative fines (via the Electoral Court) and withhold funding distribution from the Multi-Party Democracy Fund and the Represent Political Parties Fund. 

According to the IEC’s website, the commission can ensure compliance with legislation associated to the Political Party Funding Act through: the recovery of money irregularly accepted or spent, imposing administrative fines (via the Electoral Court) and withhold funding distribution from the Multi-Party Democracy Fund and the Represent Political Parties Fund. DM

This is a developing story: Watch out for further reports that will provide specific details of  disclosures.

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  • ActionSA…they will contest in only 6 municipalities, but all of them key ones. Mashaba is no fool, he knows what he is doing, and I for one wish him and his party all the best in those 6. He will most certainly rock the boat, in particular the ANC, if they can won just one…hopefully JHB or Tswane. He refuse to work with the ANC, but will work with the DA. Between the 2 parties, they have a good chance to won those two. Keep the ANC and EFF out of Gauteng, and politics will change in this country

    • Hit the nail on the head Koen! The ANC and EFF must be kept out of ALL municipalities, if we want water, electricity and all the rest of the services! Viva DA! And maybe Action SA if you live in Jo’burg.

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