Political Party Funding: IEC reveals non-compliance in 2022
The IEC shared insights into the financial resources received by political parties and the issue of non-compliance.
IEC Chairperson, Mosotho Moepya speaks during a media briefing to announce the status of political parties submission of audited financial statements at Election house in Centurion, 16 May 2023. Picture: Neil McCartney / The Citizen
On Tuesday, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) briefed the media on the Political Party Funding Annual Report for 2022.
IEC chairperson Mosotho Moepya said “the veil of secrecy on party funding is being removed”, but more work will be required going forward.
Policital Party Funding briefing
Moepya said non-compliance is still a grave concern, with some 474 South African political parties found to be non-compliant with the Political Funding Act.
Understanding political party funding
Funding refers to any financial resources which political parties may receive to fund their campaigns and to cover operational costs.
These contributions and donations may come from individuals, corporations, unions, businesses and other entities.
According to the IEC, political party funding “is the lifeblood of democracy“, since it enables parties to function and engage with the public.
A peek at the numbers
For the 2021/2022 financial year, political parties disclosed a total of R145.5 million.
This figure consists of R137.3 million in monetary income, while R8.1 million was categorised as in-kind income.
The IEC said it’s important to note that these figures only include income that exceeds the R100 000 threshold.
As per regulations, political parties are required to make quarterly disclosures of all direct donations above this threshold, regardless of it being monetary contributions, in-kind, or both.
Non-compliance a major issue
A matter of concern was the staggering figure of 474 political parties who were found to be non-compliant.
However, IEC chief executive of Political Party Funding, George Mahlangu, shed light on this issue.
He said most of the non-compliant parties are underrepresented and lack the financial resources to pay for independent auditors.
Key findings from the report
During the period of this report, an estimated 515 registered political parties were in operation, 15 of which were represented parties.
Only 41 of these submitted their financial statements, with 24 meeting the submission deadline and 17 submitting after the deadline.
While two parties, including the African National Congress (ANC) and the African Transformation Movement (ATM), provided incomplete submissions, four parties did not submit any financial statements at all. These are:
- African Independent Congress (AIC)
- Congress of the People (COPE)
- National Freedom Party (NFP)
- Pan Africanist Congress (PAC)
Actions against non-compliance
Moepya said political parties in violation of the funding act have already been issued with a request to explain the reasons for their non-compliance.
The commission determined that these parties remain non-compliant and will be directed to comply with their obligations.
If they fail to comply, the IEC will request the Electoral Court to impose administrative fines on the non-compliant parties.
“The panel of investigators were appointed and are now involved in the contracting phase. The panel has indeed been established, and no investigations are currently underway.
“This does not mean there may not be investigations in future,” Moepya said.
A report of the donations received can be viewed below.