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Comment Sought on Party Funding Regulations

March 7, 2019

Electoral Commission

The Electoral Commission seeks comment on draft regulations regarding represented political party funding.

Published in Government Gazette 42273, the draft regulations flow from the Political Party Funding Act.

President Ramaphosa assented to the act in January 2019.

The act was drawn up by the ad hoc committee on the funding of political parties.

The committee was set up to inquire into and make recommendations on the funding of political parties represented in national and provincial legislatures.

The act aims to:

• provide for, and regulate, the public and private funding of political parties, in particular: the establishment and management of Funds to fund represented political parties sufficiently;
• prohibit certain donations made directly to political parties;
• regulate disclosure of donations accepted;
• determine the duties of political parties in respect of funding;
• provide for powers and duties of the Commission;
• provide for administrative fines;
• create offences and penalties;
• repeal the Public Funding of Represented Political Parties Act, 1997 and provide for transitional matters; and
• provide for related matters.

The act comes into effect on a date still to be determined by the president.

According to an Electoral Commission statement, the Draft Political Party Funding Regulations 2019, read in conjunction with schedule 2 of the act, are intended to give effect to the act’s provisions and cover all chapters of the act except chapter 5 which deals with enforcement.

The act is to be phased in over three years.

“First to come into effect will be Chapters 1 – 4 which deal with the establishment of the Represented Political Party Fund (RPPF) and the Multiparty Democracy Fund (MDF), direct funding of political parties and disclosure of such funding, and the duties of political parties respectively, and Chapter 6 which deals with general provisions. Chapter 5 will be implemented later.”

Detail is also provided on maximum permissible fines that may be imposed for giving false information and declarations, methods and times for delivery of documents and table of prescribed forms.

An electronic online submission system is under development to facilitate easy and efficient declarations.

Comment on the draft regulations is invited until 21 March 2019.