Molefe Seeletsa

By Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist

ANC could lose more donors if party funding act is amended

The ANC could be hurt even further, if Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo's recommendations to change the PPFA are implemented.

The African National Congress (ANC) could bear the brunt of even more of its donors pulling out if any further provisions are added to the Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), according to an expert.

Political Futures Consultancy director and political analyst Daniel Silke said the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture’s report could have further negative effects on the ANC’s funding.

“The funding of the ANC has become problematic. The report has highlighted the dubious relationship between the ANC and their donors ,who might have ill intent when funding the governing party,” Silke told The Citizen on Tuesday.

Financial crisis

The ANC has been experiencing financial struggles since the Act came into effect in April 2021.

It has repeatedly blamed the 2018 PPFA for its ongoing money crisis, with the party being unable to pay its workers their salaries for several months since.

“The challenge we have, if I may repeat it again, is that 70 percent of our income comes from the private sector, and the law requiring disclosure saw many people pull back their funding. So we struggle to raise funds,” ANC treasurer-general, Paul Mashatile said in December last year.

The 2018 PPFA requires that donations of R100,000 and upwards by parties and donors be disclosed to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

Now following the emergence of the State Capture Commission’s 874-page report, questions have been raised on whether there will be further damage to the ANC’s pockets.

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In the report, the commission’s chairperson, Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo expressed concern over the link between political party financing and the corrupt granting of tenders.

Zondo suggested that the ANC benefitted from proceeds of corruption via donations.

He cited evidence heard at the commission as example, which revealed that Bosasa – among other businesses that scored tenders irregularly from government – made donations to the ANC.

During an interview on 702, Mashatile said the ANC does not want to be seen as an organisation that benefits from proceeds of corruption or crime, saying the party will pay back any funds it may have received as the benefits of corruption.

“As treasurer-general, if I become aware that monies that were brought in ANC were proceeds of crime, we will definitely return those funds to where they are supposed to go. But we need to study the report first,” he said.

Provisions to be added

The report, meanwhile, also recommended that provisions be added to the PPFA “to prevent, expose and criminalise” tender corruption.

While the ANC asked government to increase the Act’s R100,000 threshold as one of the solutions to the party’s money problems, Silke suggested that the party could lose more donors in the future.

“The ANC itself says donors have pulled out because of the Political Party Funding Act. So those who accept kickbacks or favours from the ANC because it grants access to power may stop funding the party,” he said.

READ MORE: ‘Broke’ ANC declares R10 million as IEC releases party donations report

He further said the ANC may be forced to revamp itself if any provisions recommended by Zondo are made to the PPFA.

“It will severely constraint any possible funding for the ANC. Some donors may cut their funding, which will have a lot of consequences for the party, and this could lead to the ANC being pushed to eradicate corruption within the party.

“In doing so, this could force the ANC to become a party that it is honourable,” Silke added.

The Citizen made unsuccessful attempts to reach out to the ANC for comment