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By Eric Naki

Political Editor

Political party funding increase may be on the cards

The move is being opposed by some who believed it was unnecessary as the country had to fight Covid-19 and restore the SA's economy.

With rumours that Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is planning to increase financial support to enable political party
campaigning in the light of the recent promulgation of the Political Party Funding Act, the fiscus could be under pressure to satisfy all the parties.

It believed the envisaged funding increase would provide capital for the fund to be created under the Political Party Funding Act to assist political parties represented in parliament with funding.

But the move was being opposed by some who believed it was unnecessary as the country had to fight Covid-19 and restore the ailing economy.

ALSO READ: IEC ready implement Political Party Funding Act ahead of local government polls

The Act regulates public and private funding of political parties and obliged them to disclose their funding sources and amounts donated to them to the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC).

The Act, which prohibits foreign donations to parties, will come into effect from 1 April.

Even parties that would have naturally opposed the budget could not resist the temptation to obtain the raise, even if they relied on the ANC using its majority to pass the increase to the election campaign funding.

Before the Act came into existence, parties were funded proportionally by the IEC. But the bulk of their funds came from unbridled donations mainly from the private sector and fund-raising.

There had been an ensued tension within the ANC after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s CR17 campaign reportedly received billions of rands from the private sector.

His challenger, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, also reportedly received huge funding, but her matter received minimal attention.

READ MORE: Political Party Funding Act: ‘We are seeking to cure what is being exposed before Zondo’

The new funding increase could present a quandary for the opposition parties, particularly for the Democratic Alliance (DA).

The party would not accept the rise without being accused of hypocrisy as it opposed the bailouts of state-owned enterprises.

However, the extra-parliamentary ActionSA led by former Johannesburg executive mayor Herman Mashaba had indicated that it would never accept the money.

– ericn@citizen.co.za

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