On Thursday, 6 October at 12 PM we will host a webinar introducing the next phase of our work on Political Party Funding by launching our position paper on public funding to political parties. The conversation will be facilitated by prominent journalist and broadcaster, Cathy Mohlahlana with input from our Party Funding Researcher, Robyn Pasensie and the ANC Treasurer-General, Paul Mashatile.
Register for the webinar here.
On 1 April 2021, the Political Party Funding Act came into effect. The Act is the first piece of legislation that regulates the internal workings of political parties and ushered in a new era of transparency in our politics. Ultimately, the Act is a tool that allows us to limit private influence in our politics.
After over a year of disclosures, we see that almost half of the total funding to political parties is linked to just 3 large donors! This illustrates that a small and powerful elite finances and is allowed influence over our politics. It undermines the core democratic principle that the people should govern. However, for our multi-party democracy to function, political parties need money.
Therefore, to sustain our democracy we need to build a politics that is financed by a broad base of public support and not one that is beholden to narrow private interests. To do this, the entire framework of political party financing needs to change. In the next phase of MVC’s work on political party funding, we will explore how political parties are using and can use public funds and argue that this can limit private influence in our politics and deepen democracy. As a first step, MVC will launch a position paper on public funding. The paper will provide an understanding of public funding in South Africa and will offer insights and recommendations on how this can be a tool to ensure better public engagement, representation, and robust democracy.