We are just one year away from one of the most consequential elections in South Africa. While there are lots of important pre-election conversations happening around the new Electoral Amendment Act and the Electoral Commission’s (IEC) readiness to implement this, the topic of coalition governments has gained much more momentum than before given that the elections may lead to seeing coalition governments at provincial and maybe even national level. Another important pre-election topic is of course money in politics with the 2024 elections being the first where we should see who funds who during such a significant time in our democracy.
The recent disclosures for the months April – June 2023/2024, saw four parties declare private donations of above R100 000. The ANC received R20 000 000, DA R22 901 161, Action SA R14 164 160, and the independent candidate body, Build One South Africa (BOSA) raked in
R 2 100 000. This was the first time BOSA disclosed funding above the threshold albeit a late declaration which the IEC issued them a directive for.
The usual group of funders supported these parties. Batho Batho Trust donated R15 000 000, Victoria Freudenheim (member of the Oppenheimer family) with R 7 264 160, Chancellor House Trust with R5 000 000, and Martin Moshal donated R2 000 000. Interestingly, there were quite a few individuals showing their support like entrepreneur Robert Hersov who donated R100 000 to BOSA.
We are expecting to see lots more donations given that we’ve entered election campaigning season but why has only four parties declared funding for the first quarter of 2023/2024?