The IEC released the donations, which parties declared for the third quarter, on Thursday. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

THE Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) revealed on Thursday that six political parties have made disclosures of donations totalling more than R55-million for the period from July to September 2021.

The ANC is said to have received R22 619 969, while ActionSA received R16 923 382, the Democratic Alliance (DA) disclosed R16 867 007.43, the African Christian Democratic Party received R235 000, GOOD disclosed R122 900 and Abantu Integrity Movement (AIM) disclosed R112 386.04.

AIM’s disclosure was for donations received by the party during the first quarter, between April and June 2021. These donations were only declared to the IEC in the second quarter.

“Party funding prescripts state that donations received by political parties must be disclosed on a quarterly basis. In the circumstance, the Commission resolved to publish the donations despite their late submission in the spirit of transparency and openness. For corrective action, a directive has been issued against the party as provided for in the legislations,” the Commission said.

Four political parties disclosed a total of R780 675.47 in donations-in-kind; ActionSA with R 498 382.00, GOOD R122 900.00, AIM R112 386.04 and the DA with R47 007.43

Political parties have disclosed a total of three donations from foreign sources, with a combined value of R467 007.43.

The DA declared two of the donations, valued at R347 007.43 and ActionSA disclosed a donation of R120 000.00.

“Concerning the four represented political parties (ACDP, ANC, DA and GOOD), the total value of donations received and declared is R 39 844 876.43 (thirty-nine million eight hundred and forty-four thousand eight hundred and seventy-six rands and forty-three cents). This constitutes 70% of all the donations received and declared during the second quarter,” said the Commission.

Registered political parties are required by the Political Party Funding Act to disclose donations above R100 000 to the Electoral Commission.

The Commission explained that it is important to note that no donations above R15-million in a year may be made by a donor to a political party and foreign donations should not exceed R5-million in a year.

The Commission added that foreign donations may only be used for policy development, training or skills development of members of a political party.  

The Commission said with respect to non-disclosing parties, the prescripts provide that the onus rests on both political parties and entities making declarable donations to their preferred parties to disclose such donations to the Commission. 

The Commission therefore entreats all registered parties to ensure that all declarable donations are disclosed.

“This is a vital component of our political architecture driving openness and transparency in matters pertaining to democracy. Disclosures can only serve to strengthen the informed political choices of citizens,” said the Commission. 

The DA has welcomed the IEC report on donations, saying the party has already engaged the IEC on the inadequacies of the report from quarter 1.

“In particular we have raised our concern that there is no report on which parties failed to submit reports and there is no report on zero returns. This needs to be resolved urgently. The report does not achieve its stated objective of ensuring transparency in the funding of political parties,” the party said in a statement.

The DA said the ANC have declared a R15 million donation from the Chancellor House Trust.

The party said by receiving donations to the Trust, they conceal the source of their donations.

“When the Act was introduced, the DA took advice on whether such an arrangement would be acceptable to the IEC and their response was that such an arrangement would contravene the Act,” said the IEC.

“The IEC is now contradicting that position. Given the IEC’s abysmal performance in the recent elections, a question must be raised on whether the IEC is acting independently and serving the people and not the ANC.”

The DA further stated that the EFF has not made any declaration and that was clearly in breach of the Political Party Funding Act.

“They have previously stated that they fund the party with statutory income. If this is true, they are acting illegally, given that statutory income cannot be spent on most political activity spending, such as funding election expenditure and donations of motor vehicles,” said the party.

“This must have a funding source and it must be disclosed. Given the EFF’s obvious spending, it is impossible that they did not receive donations that should have been declared.”

“If the IEC does not up its game on ensuring that the implement the law as enacted, the DA will seriously consider withholding any future disclosures until the IEC does its job.”

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