A new law passed on Thursday April 1st will ensure South African political parties declare donations made to their accounts in a bid to improve transparency and battle corruption.
The law comes with an unusual aim at the nation’s closed donation policy into its political parties’ accounts since its democratic transition in 1994.
Donations starting from 100,000 Rands will be declared by political parties while smaller donations will be capped annually.
The law also prohibits donations from foreign individuals, agencies or governments.
With law breakers liable to a 5-year imprisonment or a heavy fine, parties and donors are expected to announce their donations to the nation’s Independent Electoral Commission.
Vice President of the electoral umpire Janet Love has lauded the new law, saying it will reshape the political landscape of South Africa.
She notes it is “part of the country’s evolution” — “the most important far-reaching enhancement to the electoral legislative framework since 1994.”
Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s current President is still being investigated over the source of the funding of his ANC leadership victory in 2017. The incumbent President is said to have received $68million from donors during his campaign.
Julius Malema- leader of South African youth-centred Economic Freedom Fighters is seeking the opening of the bank records of Ramaphosa’s campaign in court. The case is yet to be decided.
The ANC has expressed its dissatisfaction with some part of the law as it said it will restrict donors from helping political parties that are in need.
The bill which was approved by the Parliament in 2018 has been signed into law and is expected to be effective from August’s Local Government elections.
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