Gareth Cotterell
2 minute read
9 Sep 2021
6:17 pm

From Oppenheimers to mining magnates – SA political parties’ biggest donors

Gareth Cotterell

The DA's biggest donor is Mary Slack, the sister of Nicky Oppenheimer - the heir to the DeBeers diamond fortune and one of South Africa's richest people.

The ANC declared R10.7 million in donations. Picture: Gallo Images

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Thursday released its first quarterly report on political party donations and announced that more than R30 million has been declared.

IEC deputy chairperson Janet Love said only three political parties disclosed donations of more than R100,000 as required by the Political Party Funding Act.

Those parties are the African National Congress (ANC), the Democratic Alliance (DA), and ActionSA. But who are the parties’ most generous donors?

Most generous donors

The DA’s biggest donor is Mary Slack, the sister of Nicky Oppenheimer – the heir to the DeBeers diamond fortune and one of South Africa’s richest people. Slack was by far the DA’s biggest benefactor with a donation of R15 million.

The ANC’s biggest donor was mining company United Manganese of Kalahari. The company donated R5 million to the ruling party. Its chairman, Mogopodi Mokoena, is also the managing director of the ANC’s investment company, Chancellor House Holdings. Another member of their board is Khanyisile Kweyama – the former board chair of Prasa.

Action SA’s biggest donation is the R2.5 million that came from millionaire South African philanthropist Martin Moshal. He also established the Moshal Scholarship Program, which supports more than 900 financially disadvantaged university students in Israel, South Africa and the Ukraine.

Another of ActionSA’s most generous donors is Style Eyes Of California, a clothing company based in Durban. It donated R333,000. It’s probably safe to assume that Herman Mashaba’s party will be handing out the best T-shirts to its supporters.

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Love said the parties had declared qualifying donations from donors amounting to R30,008,841.74.

She said the ANC had declared R10.7 million, while the DA declared R15.9 million and ActionSA R3.3 million.

The ANC and the DA declared individual donations and ActionSA declared total direct donations.

Love said the DA and ActionSA also declared donations in kind amounting to R855,685.41 (R499,595.15 for DA and R356,090.26 for ActionSA).

Political Party Funding Act

The Political Party Funding Act came into effect on 1 April.

The Act establishes the mechanism on funds to be provided to political parties represented in Parliament and provincial legislatures to undertake their work.

It requires that donations of R100,000 and upwards be disclosed by parties and donors to the IEC.

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