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On Thursday, 18 November 2021, the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) disclosed the donations above the R100,000 threshold declared by political parties between July and September 2021.
This is a result of Section 9(3) of the Political Party Funding Act 6 of 2018 and its accompanying regulations, which require all registered political parties to report donations exceeding R100,000 to the Electoral Commission.
Declarable donations are those over R100 000 donated by a single contributor to a single party in a financial year, whether monetary, in-kind, or combined. It’s also worth noting that a contributor can’t give more than R15 million to a political party in a single year.
Donations from foreign entities are restricted to a maximum of R5 million each year, according to regulations. However, foreign contributions can only be used for political party members’ policy development, training, or skill development.
Value of second-quarter donations.
During the second quarter, six political parties made disclosures totalling R 56 880 644.47. These parties made the following disclosures with corresponding amounts:
- ActionSA – R16 923 382.00
- Abantu Integrity Movement (AIM) – R112 386.04
- African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) – R235 000.00
- African National Congress (ANC) – R22 619 969.00
- Democratic Alliance (DA) – R16 867 007.43
- GOOD – R122 900.00
It is crucial to note that the R112 386.04 declared by AIM was for donations received by the party in the first quarter of 2021, i.e. between April and June of that year. However, the party did not report these donations to the Commission until the second quarter.
The total value of donations collected and declared by the four political parties represented (ACDP, ANC, DA, and GOOD) is R 39 844 876.43. During the second quarter, this accounted for 70% of all donations received and declared.
Four political parties have revealed a total of R 780 675.47 in in-kind donations. The following were made public:
- ActionSA – R 498 382.00
- AIM – R 112 386.04
- GOOD – R 122 900.00
- Democratic Alliance – R 47 007.43
In-kind gifts to ActionSA included things like 400 corporate golf shirts, consultancy services, policy drafting for the party, books and other marketing materials, and 950 000 (A5) handout pamphlets.
Party T-shirts, flyers, banners, flags, audiovisual material, information technology-related material, and gazebos were among the in-kind donations received by AIM.
The purchase of a motor vehicle (Mazda Drifter BT-50 Bakkie) for the GOOD Party was the in-kind donation, which was also the only donation disclosed by the party.
The in-kind donation of the DA was in the form of service provider payment for the training of the political party members, which took place between 17 – 23 June 2021. It’s worth noting that, while the training took place in June, payment was only processed and declared on 20 August 2021, which is why it’s included in the second quarter declarations report.
Political parties have acknowledged a total of three foreign donations totalling R 467 007,43. The DA declared two donations totalling R 347 007.43, whereas ActionSA disclosed a R120 000.00 donation.
These overseas donations appear to be in line with the Party Funding Act’s section 8(4) standards. According to both the receiving parties and the donors ‘ disclosures, the donations were utilized for policy development, training, and skill development of party leaders.
Parties that fail to disclose
In the case of non-disclosing parties, the prescripts state that it is the responsibility of both political parties and entities’ responsibility to make declarable gifts to their favoured parties to notify the Commission.
As a result, the Commission urges all registered parties to make sure that all declarable gifts are made public. This is an integral part of the political infrastructure, as it promotes openness and transparency in democratic processes. Disclosures can only help citizens make more informed political decisions.
These large sums of money have been pumped into politics, and we are excited to see how the said investments translate into a better South Africa.
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