Money is an inextricable part of politics and democracy. We have seen through many examples — South Africa included — of the nature of money in politics. It can be destructive. We need only look at the most recent example of State Capture. However, a significant sphere of influence is with private donations to political parties. Covered briefly in the Zondo Commission, party funding represents an important area for accountability and transparency in politics. Given the large amounts of money donated to political parties, there exists an opportunity to subvert the democratic process through wealthy elites buying influence in political parties.
The Political Party Funding Act (PPFA) was the law created to address the issue of undue private influence in politics. However, two years since its inception there remain crucial areas of concern around its efficacy in preventing this along with external threats to its core functions of accountability and transparency. The following is a submission made to the Legislative Reform Reference Group of the National Anti-Corruption Advisory Council (NACAC) on:
1. The recommendation emanating from the State Capture Commission which notes that the Political Party Funding Act should be amended to “criminalise the making of donations to political parties on the expectation of, or to grant procurement tenders or contracts, as a reward for recognition of such grants having been made;”
2. The adequacy of the threshold required to disclose funding received from donors, as well as the annual cap on donations; and
3. Gaps in the current legislation which should be amended to prevent and combat corruption in South Africa
Click on the link below to download the pdf submission.