The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) said today that the signing into law of the political party funding bill was “a victory for transparency and a victory for democracy”.
President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the bill into law today. It was passed by parliament last year and has been awaiting the president’s signature.
The issue of declaring private funding has been a debate since South Africa’s transition to democracy in 1994. The main opposition Democratic Alliance has resisted forcing disclosure, arguing that if the identity of opposition donors were known, they could be prejudiced in a number of ways.
The act allows for the establishment of a multi-party democracy fund that will be run by the Electoral Commission of South Africa. The fund will make it possible for donations to be distributed equally amongst all parties represented in parliament. Funds are currently distributed according to the number of seats held in national legislature.
“In light of the ANC’s involvement with Bosasa and the rot of corrupt activities which is now being laid bare before the South African public in the State Capture commission of inquiry – we are hopeful that more allegations will come to the fore,” IFP MP Narend Singh said in a press release.
Singh said the IFP had championed the bill alongside civil society.
“This Act will see for the first time the levelling of the playing field and halt the abuse of state resources for party-political purposes.”
Meanwhile, the African National Congress (ANC) said that the signing into law of the political party funding bill was a milestone that would serve to strengthen democracy.
“The ANC has consistently supported the principle of regulating funding for political parties. We view this as an important milestone in strengthening our democracy and enhancing transparency as a cornerstone of our democracy,” said acting national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa in a press statement.
Kodwa said the governing party was encouraged that the law was a “practical expression of the ANC’s unwavering commitment to the constitutional values of fairness, equity, accountability and transparency”.
“We have no doubt that this law provides the country with an opportunity to deepen our democracy and usher in a new culture of transparent funding for political parties.”
– African News Agency (ANA)