The Electoral Commission of SA’s chief electoral officer, Sy Mamabolo. Photo: Gallo Images
- Only the ANC and DA declared donations received between January and March.
- This is the lowest amount declared since the introduction of declarations of donations.
- 95% of the DA’s donations for this quarter were from overseas; the IEC found the DA’s overseas donations above board.
South Africa’s two biggest political parties – the ANC and DA – were the only parties to declare donations in the fourth quarter of the 2021-2022 financial year.
The ANC received R10 million, according to a statement from the Electoral Commission of South Africa. The statement didn’t explain who the ANC’s donors were – this information was due to be provided later on Monday.
The DA received R2 525 387.72, including an in-kind donation of R786 152.81 from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF), a German foundation.
“All of DA’s declared donations, except for one, were received from foreign donors – the FNF and Danish Liberal Democracy Programme (DLDP). The combined value of these foreign donations is R 2 405 387.72, constituting 95% of the total value of donations declared by the DA during the fourth quarter,” reads the IEC’s statement.
“Of this amount, the FNF donated R 1 713 250.80, and the DLDP donated R 692 136.92.
“Considering that each of these foreign donors have made repeated donations to one political party, ie, the DA, the Commission has found it necessary to consider the cumulative value of all donations over the financial year under review. The Commission can, therefore, confirm that all the foreign donations declared by the DA were fully compliant with the Act in that they fall within the R5 million ceiling per donor.
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“Furthermore, the donated funds were utilised for activities falling within the ambit of the law, namely; policy development, training, and skills development of members of the political party.”
The Multi-Party Democracy Fund (MPDF) received a contribution of R5 000 from Ivan Pillay on 29 March 2022.
“The Commission lauds this contribution. The Commission implores corporates and citizens to make contributions into the Fund as this is a non-partisan mechanism of supporting multi-party democracy, which is a cornerstone of our system of governance.”
Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo said the fourth quarter – January to March 2022 – declarations were the lowest amount declared since their introduction – in terms of value and the parties who made declarations.
According to the statement, he said:
For the first time, only two political parties made declarations, and the total value of donations was below R30 million, which was until now the least amount declared in a quarter.
“Noting that the fourth quarter disclosure period was immediately after the local government elections, it appears that there is a nexus between the number and total value of donations and the election cycle. The more imminent the elections, the more likely that parties will receive significant donations.
“Another emerging feature of the party funding disclosure regime is that political parties with the highest representation in the national and provincial legislatures appear more likely to receive donations on a regular basis than those with lower representation. The ANC and the DA being typical in this regard.”
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The first financial year since the implementation of the Party Funding Act was concluded at the end of March 2022. This means that political parties are now required to submit their audited annual financial statements to the Commission by the end of June.
The auditors have three months – July to September – to audit the statements. The audited financial statements, accompanied by the auditor’s opinion, must be submitted by the political party’s accounting officer to the commission by 30 September 2022.
The commission is currently on a national roadshow to provide registered political parties with training on preparing and submitting audited financial statements. This is part of the efforts of the commission to increase the extent of compliance with the party funding prescripts.
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