Call for parliament to regulate party funding

04 August 2016 - 18:23 By Qaanitah Hunter

Election watchdog Eisa has raised concern over the lack of transparency of political party funding in South Africa and have called on parliament to consider regulating it. This comes in the wake of political parties spending unprecedented amounts of money on this election/ with the ANC reportedly spending around R1 billion‚ the DA spending at least R350 million and the EFF admitting to have spent R10 million. The institute‚ which observes elections all over the African continent‚ delivered its preliminary statement on their observer mission of the 2016 local government elections.The organisation's Denis Kgadima said a gap existed in South African law regarding the regulation of private sources of funding for political parties."As electoral contest becomes increasingly competitive in South Africa‚ this regulatory gap may have a greater bearing on the negative influence of money in electoral politics with particular regard to electoral fair-play‚ and on politics more generally‚" he said.Eisa has recommended that parliament‚ "consider legal reforms governing party funding to include accountability of private sources of funding and consider establishing a regulatory framework for election campaign financing". Currently‚ no political party is obliged to disclose how much they have spent on their election campaign no where the money came from.How did your ward/city vote? Click here for the #ElectionResults: three big parties in South Africa - the ANC‚ DA and EFF- have all admitted that this election was the most expensive campaign yet.EFF leader Julius Malema described the election as "an election of the plenty" where the ANC used copious amounts of money to effect an overwhelming majority.It is unclear whether political parties in parliament would consider bringing such a regulation to the table‚ and even if it is introduced in parliament‚ it may take years for party funding regulation to become law.Other recommendations made by the Eisa observer mission include reducing special voting to one day‚ enhance training of staff and undertake measures to improve the accuracy of the voters' roll in order to prevent the disenfranchisement of voters. - TMG Digital/The Times

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