28/03/2018 11:37 SAST | Updated 28/03/2018 11:37 SAST

EFF Stands Alone Against Political Funding Bill

The ANC has welcomed the adoption of the political party funding bill, but the EFF say the wording is all wrong.

POOL New / Reuters
EFF leader Julius Malema.

The EFF is the only political organisation to openly reject the National Assembly's adoption of the political party funding bill, while the governing party and the official opposition stand by Parliament's decision.

The bill proposes, among other things, regulating and making transparent private donations to political parties represented in Parliament and the provincial legislatures.

In June 2017, the National Assembly resolved to establish a multiparty ad-hoc committee to inquire into and make recommendations on the funding of political parties represented in Parliament and the provincial legislatures.

The assembly considered and approved this report on Tuesday, and the EFF was quick to reject the decision.

In a tweet, the party said it rejected the bill on the basis of one of its clauses which reads: "no person or entity may deliver a donation to a member of a political party other than for party-political purposes".

In an interview with eNCA, EFF treasurer-general Leigh-Ann Mathys said the party's grievance is with the wording of the clause.

"In the spirit of what Section 10 is trying to do, we agree. And we do understand that there are highly placed politicians who use their positions in the party to solicit funds and say that it's for political work and it's not used privately... It should read that no person or entity may deliver a donation made to a political party to a member of that political party," she said.

Mathys used the example of a branch level member of a political party being prohibited from accepting a donation towards his or her child's education.

In a statement, the ANC called the bill the framework for transparency and financial accountability, regulation of private finance and an increase in public confidence in South Africa's democratic system.

"This bill further legislates the ANC's call that public allocations should go only to parties that publish comprehensive audited financial statements on an annual basis covering all transactions. This clause therefore subjects political parties to provisions that ordinarily face other public institutions in a democratic society, and once the bill is passed political parties will have to disclose their sources of income to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)," it said.

"It is a sign of the good health of our democracy that this important piece of legislation has been debated openly amongst all political parties. It is worth noting that the public, organisations and a multiplicity of stakeholders also had an opportunity to input during the bill's development. Accordingly, the ANC is confident the process that led to the passing of the bill have been transparent and inclusive."