Two weeks ago, we convened what I hope will be a significant intervention as we move towards our most consequential election since 1994. We convened a small group of social movements, labour federations and NGOs to discuss the threats that the 2024 moment presents and explore collective strategies and tactics to take into the election period. We’ll send a full report on the Convening in the next few days.

One of the many key insights that emerged from the Convening was that we have not been able to define the future that we want. It also doesn’t seem like we have gotten close to understanding the extent of our political crisis.

Beyond the billions of rands we lost to state capture. Beyond the dire youth unemployment stats. Beyond the alarming Gini coefficient… what is clear is that most of us living in this country have no trust in every institution that was created to respect and protect our dignity.

A few months ago, I also attended the Social Justice Assembly (SJA), with around 200 other representatives of civil society organisations. Between this month’s Convening and the Assembly participants also asked questions about the demobilisation of collectives and of people’s movements. How do we explain the rise of xenophobia and gated communities? How do we define the democracy we are working towards? What is the vehicle that will get us there?

There has also been a clear call for us to take this thing called the vote more seriously. It’s not just about marking an X next to the logo an individual identifies with the most. It’s about using the vote to force people’s demands onto the agenda of the group that is supposed to make decisions on our behalf. The election is one of the tools to build a people-led and viable society.

As a start, at the beginning of next year when those vying for political power launch their 2024 manifestos, how do voters force them to commit to ending austerity, implementing a basic income grant, advancing a transformative climate justice agenda, or decisively deal with the commodification of the state? How do we use the uncertainty the 2024 election presents to advance the building of people-led political alternatives?  

These will remain key questions for MVC’s work in the next year.  

Issued by: Minhaj Jeenah, Executive Director

Some organisational updates…

New private political funding tracking tool

The wait is over! We are excited to announce that we are launching and interactive online tool tracking the private funding of political parties on 3 August at 12pm. 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).

Register to join the Zoom launch below.


Or catch the livestream on YouTube here.


Party Funding Webinar on our court case

We hosted a webinar detailing the reasons for us challenging certain aspects of the Political Party Funding Act (PPFA). We were joined by amaBhungane’s, Caroline James who provided incredible insight into the relationship between donors and political parties. The conversation was moderated by broadcaster, Cathy Mohlahlana.

You can watch the recording here.


Party Funding Act Court Challenge

Out of the 18 respondents in our case challenging certain aspects of the PPFA, we have so far received official opposition from the State and a few political parties.  

National Dialogue on Coalitions

We will be attending the National Dialogue on Coalitions hosted by the Presidency in Cape Town between 4-5 August. MVC is currently undertaking intensive research on coalitions which we will be sharing in the weeks to come.

Why we’re not going to court over electoral reform

We’ve recently written about the current litigation around the Electoral Amendment Act and why we will not be joining the court action. For us, if the electoral law is challenged, there may not be enough time to know whether independent candidates will be allowed to contest the elections in 2024. So, legal challenges mean that we cannot guarantee the outcome of the electoral reform process going forward.

To read more about this, click the button below.


IEC commissioner vacancy

The Office of the Chief (OCJ) Justice held interviews to fill the vacancy of Commissioner at the Electoral Commission. This vacancy comes after Vice-Chairperson, Janet Love’s term came to an end. She was interviewed along with 11 other candidates. The OCJ recently recommended 8 candidates to Parliament for consideration. The recommended candidates are:

  1. Janet Love
  2. Adv Olivier Josie
  3. Ms Bongekile Zulu
  4. Ms Sinenhlanhla Thuleleni Mthembu
  5. Dr Setlhomamaru Isaac Dintwe
  6. Mr Lumko Caesario Mtimde
  7. Ms Preetha Dabideen
  8. Ms Thezi Rosemary Mabuza  

Until our next update…stay warm and stay safe.