Vision
Our Team
Our Board
Our Funders

Vision and Principles

We strive for a democracy where every person has equal influence in all the decisions that affect them.

Democracy:
We believe in a democracy where every adult has equal power to influence decisions that affect them.

Transparency and Accountability:
We believe that the electorate should have access to all information that they need to exercise their political rights and make political choices from an informed position. We believe that political parties, decision-makers, and public representatives should openly share all necessary public information timeously and in accessible formats for all.

Social Justice:
We believe that power should be equally shared and that social mobility barriers should be removed.

People’s Power:
We believe that people must lead the drive for ensuring their rights are met, and we support popular participation, the building of grassroots organisation, and equipping all people with tools to hold public representatives to account, and to be part of decision-making.

History

My Vote Counts (MVC) emerged out of campaigns by South African civil society, in 2012, that aimed to address the scourge of corruption and the hollowing out of South Africa’s democracy.

It was launched as a public campaign in that year to advocate for an electoral system that utilises both proportional representation and constituency-based representation and to instigate increased transparency and openness in political party funding. Both campaigns garnered traction and have contributed towards shaping the future of politics and democracy in South Africa.

In 2016 MVC registered as a Non-Profit Organisation. In that year MVC successfully challenged the constitutionality of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) and influenced the development of the Political Party funding Act (PPFA). PAIA was amended in 2019 and the PPFA and an amended PAIA came into operation in 2021.

The PPFA came into effect in April 2021 and has proven to be one of the most important pieces of legislation in South Africa’s democracy. It is also the first piece
of legislation that governs the internal workings of political parties. It provides a transparency framework for political party finances and, importantly, limits private influence in the country’s politics. The enactment of the legislation has taken the work of MVC, as a social justice organisation, to a new phase of its life cycle.

In this context in 2021, MVC has broadened its vision to one that focuses on deepening democracy, public transparency and accountability, social justice, and building people’s power. MVC, thus, has three streams of work: Political Party Funding, Electoral Systems, as well as Inter and Intra-Party Democracy. We carry out these streams through research, political education, campaigning, and, as a last resort, litigation.

Our Team

Minhaj Jeenah
Executive Director

Minhaj is the Executive Director at My Vote Counts. He has a keen interest in movement building, popular education, and deepening democracy.

He is a former student activist and a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Fellowship on Racial Equity. He has worked in the social justice sector for 8 years, in education, community and youth organising, and budget justice. Prior to his work at MVC, he was the National Coordinator of the Fight Inequality Alliance – a growing alliance of social movements and NGOs organising in 30 countries. And the head of the political education unit at the learner-led social movement, Equal Education. He also has an interest in story-telling as a form of resistance, and is currently the Host and Producer of Voices of Da City, a documentary-style podcast series exploring the intersection between race, resistance, and Hip Hop in Cape Town, South Africa.

Lelethu Masangwana
Digital Media Officer

Lelethu has experience in communications and public relations within the public and non-profit sectors. With a deep-seated passion for public education, she strives to drive positive societal change.

She is committed to advancing gender, social, and environmental justice, and hopes to contribute towards equality and an inclusive South Africa.

Joel Bregman
Senior Researcher

Joel joined MVC in 2019 and is the organisation’s Senior Researcher. His focus area is intra-party democracy – working to understand the extent to which political parties institute democratic practices internally and why this is important for South Africa’s democracy and governance. His most recent research looked at internal democracy in the ANC through the lens of its 55th elective conference. He worked at the Social Justice Coalition from 2010 until 2016 and worked briefly for #UniteBehind.

Joel received a Masters degree in Historical Studies from the University of Cape Town and studied history, politics, and film in his undergrad.

Boikanyo Moloto
Political Systems Researcher

Boikanyo Moloto is the Political Systems Researcher at My Vote Counts. She holds an MA in Industrial Sociology (Cum Laude). Her academic include gender studies, violence and conflict, strengthening legislatures and capacity, labour law, and the lived experiences of workers.

Boikanyo was previously affiliated to the Centre for Social Change. She continued her career as a Researcher and Young Emerging Evaluator (YEE) at the Center for Learning on Evaluation and Results – Anglophone Africa, later serving as Research Co-ordinator and representing the organisation on the African Parliamentarians’ Network on Development Evaluation (APNODE) Executive Committee.

More recently, she served as an Urban Violence Researcher and Project Manager at the Centre for Study of Violence and Reconciliation, with a focus on violence, violence prevention, democracy, social cohesion, youth inclusion, and governance. Her goal is to use academia as a catalyst to contribute towards effective, context-specific, social change. “I am here to disrupt the status quo!”.

Robyn Pasensie
Political Party Funding Researcher

Robyn is the Political Party Funding Researcher for My Vote Counts. Her job entails research on political party funding, engaging with stakeholders, creating awareness on the need for party funding frameworks and public education.

She holds a BA in International Relations, BAdmin Hons (Cum Laude) and a Masters candidate in political science at the University of the Western Cape. She joined MVC in 2020 and brings her experience as a field researcher in areas as diverse as Khayelitsha and Genadendal and academic expertise.

Nosiphelo Mahola
Finance and Admin Officer

Nosiphelo Mahola is self-driven and passionate about working with finances. She has been working in the financial administration environment since 2011 and her years of working have made her a team player and a game changer. She has several qualifications in finance and business and is currently completing her Bachelor in Business Administration.

When not working she enjoys reading books on African literature, long-distance running, and hiking mountain trails to discover hidden gems.

Keamogetswe Seipato
Campaigner

Keamogetswe Seipato is a social justice activist and feminist. She is extremely passionate about deconstructing systems of oppression, questioning everything, grappling with anything, and changing society as a whole. Sharing and creating information and knowledge with those who are affected by how the political economy of the world and Southern Africa works, coupled with inspiration for establishing the means to tackle patriarchal capitalism is a key element of her activism.

Nthabiseng Lerotholi
Research and Campaigns Intern

Nthabiseng holds an MA in Political Studies and BAHons in Conflict Management and Political Studies from Nelson Mandela University. She has a keen interest in democratisation, social justice, and political economy. She enjoys swimming and surfing in her free time.

Our Board

Amanda Rinquest (Chair)

Zukiswa Kota

Dr Trevor Ngwane

Khaya Sithole

Gaile Fullard (Treasurer)

Tyronne McCrindle

Dr Kudrat Virk

Our Current Donor Partners

2022-2024

R2 250 000,00

2023

R510 000,00

2023-2026

R2 528 252,00

2023-2026

R5 700 000,00

2023-2026

R2 353 252,00

2023-2024

R 300 000,00

*Disclaimer: As an NGO, My Vote Counts’ funds comes from a diverse range of sources. Our donors have no material influence on our work and we are able to operate independently from these donors.