This was a big month for us as we launched our party funding tracking tool — Whose Vote Counts? This forms part of our commitment to accountability and transparency of political party funding. The tool takes the quarterly disclosures from the IEC and illustrates the various sectors donors come from and provides additional information on the CEOs and business interests of declared donors.

The tool shows that since 2021, 22% (over R61 million) of all disclosed private funding donations has been from the mining industry followed by the energy industry at 19.4% (R54 million), and 16% from online gambling businessman, Martin Moshal (just over R44 million).

Whose Vote Counts? was developed by Open Up to assist in tracking the flow of money in politics and assessing the relationships between donors and political parties.

You can visit Whose Vote Counts? below.

Whose Vote Counts?

Our Political Party Funding Researcher, Robyn Pasensie spoke to Cape Talk and our Head of Communications, Sheilan Clarke spoke to eNCA about the tool which you can view below.

Cape Talk

MVC invited to share party funding experiences in Mozambique

We were once again invited to take our knowledge and expertise on party funding across the borders. The Centre for Public Integrity in Mozambique hosted a public debate on Financing Political Parties in Mozambique, focusing on the limitations of the legal framework and the risks they pose to the integrity of political and governance processes. Mozambique approaches its party funding in a somewhat unique way by distinguishing between private funding donations during election periods and outside elections periods. 

While private donations during a non-election period must be disclosed to the relevant body it is not made publicly available. The emphasis on access to information was just as important for our Mozambican counterparts as it is for MVC and South Africa. 

Money in politics is taking centre-stage across the continent. Following this dialogue and the one we had in Zambia months ago; we look forward to continue to partner with other organisations in the region to discuss the importance of party funding transparency and the influence of money in our politics.  

You can watch the recap video (using English subtitles) via the button below.

Recap video

People’s Convening: Towards 2024 Elections report finalised

We have finalised our report following the People’s Convening: Towards the 2024 Elections held in July. The report includes the participants:

1) Defining the current political moment in South Africa 
2) Exploring the threats and opportunities that the 2024 elections presents
3) Learning from international activists’ experiences and
4) Exploring strategic voting

As agreed by the participating organisations, we will embark on collective campaigns in the run up to the 2024 elections. These campaigns will aim to meet 4 objectives namely:

1) Use the elections to centre people’s demands
2) Organise mass voter turnout
3) Protect the integrity of the election process
4) Build a political alternative, beyond 2024

You can read the full report below.


You can watch the recap video of the Convening below.

Recap video

Parliament deliberates shortlisted IEC Commissioner candidates

Following the interviews in July, the IEC Commissioner interview panel, led by the Chief Justice submitted its list of shortlisted candidates to Parliament. The matter now sits with the Portfolio Committee of Home Affairs who will deliberate the candidates. After a vote in the National Assembly, the nominated candidate will be referred to the President to make the appointment official. 

As highlighted before, the IEC is a crucial institution in our democracy even more so with the 2024 elections, new electoral system, and the implementation of the Political Party Funding Act. It is therefore essential that whoever gets appointed will ensure that the institution remains independent and able to execute its functions effectively.  

Changing laws won’t stabilise coalition governments

The Office of the Presidency held a dialogue on coalitions that we attended. The Dialogue was intended for parties to agree on a set of principles that would make coalitions work as efficiently as possible.

Our Senior Researcher, Joel Bregman attended the event and published an opinion piece reflecting on why laws regulating coalitions won’t necessarily stabilise government. The dysfunction we have witnessed with many coalitions in recent years, especially at the metropolitan level, underscores a crucial issue in our politics — that parties put their interests over those they are elected to represent.

Joel also chatted about this on SABC which you can watch by clicking the button below.

Read oped

In the next few weeks…

We will be sharing some new research on strategic voting which comes just in time as political parties have begun their 2024 election campaigning so be on the look out for this.

The next set of party funding disclosures is due any day now so keep your eyes on our social media and excitingly, on Whose Vote Counts? for this information. 

Until next month…