My Vote Counts works towards a South Africa where every person has
equal access to, equal control of and equal participation in our democratic process.
Our principles are the foundation of our work towards achieving our vision. MVC has four principles:
Democracy: we believe in a democracy where every adult has an equal say in all the decisions which affect them.
Transparency and accountability: we will work to ensure that the electorate and the general public has access to information that will help to exercise their political rights and make political choices from a more informed position. This would primarily be information related to the funding of political parties and independent candidates, the electoral system and its processes, and the way that political parties operate internally. However, this would at times extend beyond these three key focus areas.
Social justice: our work will contribute towards equalising power relations and breaking the barriers of social mobility.
Building people’s power: we recognise that our vision will only be achieved through popular participation, supporting the building of grassroots organisation and giving ordinary people the tools to hold public representatives to account.
My Vote Counts (MVC) was established in 2012 to advocate for the regulation of the private funding of political parties. It emerged out of several civil society campaigns, since the early 2000s, to address corruption and the hollowing out of South Africa’s democracy.
This work has seen the organisation taking the matter of the lack of political party transparency to the courts since the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) could not be used to access this crucial information. In 2017, the Western Cape High Court ruled in MVC’s favour deeming PAIA unconstitutional as it does not allow for the disclosure of private political party funding. Parliament was given 18 months to rectify this. The matter was then heard in the Constitutional Court in 2018 where the Court upheld the Western Cape High Court’s order. The Promotion of Access to Information Amendment Act was enacted in April 2021.
This advocacy has also lead to the enactment of the Political Party Funding Act in April 2021.
Since its establishment, MVC has grown as an established and independent non-profit organisation— with a broader focus on deepening democracy.
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.
Head of Communications and Stakeholder Management
Sheilan is the Head of Communications and Stakeholder Management. Her job entails many things including developing a communications strategy, developing and maintaining stakeholder relationships and ensuring our campaigns reach far and wide.
She joined MVC in 2018 and brings along her journalism, media and networking experience to the organisation that she’s gained over the last 10 years. She has previously been involved with several civil-society organisations where she’s lead many campaigns, reported from Parliament and more. She has also worked at various media houses.
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 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.
Electoral Systems Researcher
Letlhogonolo is the Electoral Systems Researcher. Her job entails developing an organisational position on South Africa’s electoral system. She holds an MA in Politics and International Relations from the University of Johannesburg. She has a keen interest in human rights, democracy and governance. She hopes to pursue civil society law and encourage interest in the field.
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.
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 Business Administration.
When not working she enjoys reading books on African literature, long distance running and hiking mountain trails to discover hidden gems.
Research and Campaigns Intern
Lilitha is currently finishing her MA in political studies at the University of the Western Cape looking at how Covid-19 impacted the 2021 local government elections. She enjoys reading in her free time.
Dr Trevor Ngwane
Dr Kudrat Virk
Our Current Donor Partners
R2 250 000
2022 – 2023
R1 800 000
R1 960 200
*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.