The ANC has called for the regulation of private financing of political parties, financial transparency of political parties and “enhanced public funding for activities that promote and support democracy”.
In a statement ANC Treasurer General Zweli Mkhize said there was an over-reliance by political parties on private donations.
“…the secrecy that clouds political party financing has, in recent times, fuelled perceptions that anonymous donations from masked sources subvert democratic processes, lead to a manipulation of public policy positions in favour of those private interests and dilute the voice of citizens.”
Mkhize said transparency was necessary to increase public confidence.
“Party finances must be open to public scrutiny and discussions engaged on the desirability of donations from, amongst other categories, foreign interests or from companies that conduct substantial business with the state.”
He added that the ANC felt a need to revise current allocations to political party funding.
“The African National Congress appreciates the current fiscal constraints and thus the need to revise current allocations to political party funding without sacrificing other important public priorities.”
Parliament’s committee on the funding of political parties has extended its deadline for public submissions and comments on how political parties are financed to Monday, July 24.
The ad hoc committee, established by the National Assembly on June 6, originally intended for written submissions to close on Friday, July 21.
However, its chairperson Vincent Smith said the deadline for submissions would be extended to close of business on Monday, after the committee had received requests asking for more time.
After written submissions were received, the committee would schedule oral presentations.
The committee consists of 11 members, with six from the ANC, two from the DA, and one each from the EFF, the FF Plus and the IFP.
According to its brief, it will investigate how the public and private funding of political parties represented in national and provincial legislatures take place, and whether legislation governing such financing should be amended.
It will also consider whether private funding of political parties and their investment entities, should be regulated.
The committee must report back to the National Assembly by the end of November.[Source: News24]