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.