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South Africa commences Political Party Funding Act for accountability

By Oluwaseun Sonde

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The South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa has signed Proclamation on the Commencement of the Political Party Funding Act, 2018 (Act no. 6 of 2018), which regulates public and private funding of political parties.

In a statement released by the South African Government on Friday, as the Act will come into operation on 1st of April, 2020, also the Act is part of the commitment of this administration to improving transparency and accountability in government.

The Act establishes funds to provide political parties represented in Parliament and legislatures with funding to undertake their work and also requires that donations be disclosed by parties and donors to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

The implementation of the Political Party Funding Act will have far-reaching consequences for good governance and ethical political activity, which will strengthen the confidence of citizens in the democratic political process and enable them to assert their right to information. 

President Ramaphosa commended the IEC, the Department of Home Affairs, Memebers of Parliament, leaders of political parties and other stakeholders for the extensive preparatory work required to bring this legislation into operation.

He called on all parties to work together and with the IEC to ensure the effective implementation of this law, as parties may however receive funding from foreign entities for training, skills development or policy development, while no member of a political party may receive a donation other than for political party purposes.

At the same time, through the establishment of the Represented Political Party Fund, which provides public funding to parties, and the Multi-Party Democracy Fund, which funds parties from private sources, the Act seeks to ensure that all represented political parties receive sufficient funds for their work in a fair and equitable manner.

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