President Cyril Ramaphosa says the political party funding will come into effect from April this year. Photo: AP

CHARLES MOLELE

THE much-awaited Political Party Funding Act will finally come into effect as from April 1, the Presidency announced on Friday.

The Political Party Funding Act, which was signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa in January 2019 but delayed as a result of legal consultations and the Coronavirus pandemic, is aimed at regulating public and private funding of political parties.

The party funding act prohibits donations to parties by foreign governments or agencies, foreign persons or entities, organs of state or state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

Parties may, however, receive funding from foreign entities for training, skills development or policy development, but no member of a political party may receive a donation other than for political party purposes.

According to a statement issued by the Presidency on Friday, “the Act establishes funds to provide political parties represented in Parliament and legislatures with funding to undertake their work. It also requires that donations be disclosed by parties and donors to the Independent Electoral Commission.”

The act “will have far-reaching consequences for good governance and ethical political activity,” the Presidency said on Friday.

“It will strengthen the confidence of citizens in the democratic political process and enable them to assert their right to information.”

Meanwhile, Ramaphosa commended the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the Department of Home Affairs, Members of Parliament, leaders of political parties and other stakeholders for the extensive preparatory work required to bring the legislation into operation.

He called on all parties to work together and with the IEC to ensure the effective implementation of the Act.

The IEC previously said that the political party funding had been an Achilles heel to democracy in South Africa, which had increasingly put the country and the Commission at odds with peers around the world.

(SOURCE: INSIDE POLITICS)

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