Politics

ANC, DA and Action SA declare more than R30m in donations

ANC, DA and Action SA declare more than R30m in donations

Only three political parties out of 504 registered with the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) have declared receiving donations above R100,000 in line with the Political Party Funding Act. 

They are the ANC, DA and Action SA, the commission announced on Thursday after releasing its first report on compliance with the act of 2018.  

The act was proclaimed by President Cyril Ramaphosa in January but only came into effect in April. Among other things, it requires political parties to declare all donations above a threshold of R100,000.  

IEC vice-chairperson Janet Love said the three parties declared donations with a total value of R30,008,841 in the first quarter.

The ANC and the DA declared individual donations received of R10,720,000 and R15,983,751 respectively.  

Action SA declared total direct donations amounting to R3,305,090.  

The commission’s head of political party funding George Mahlangu said it was pleased with the levels of compliance with the act among political parties, despite hundreds failing to respond for calls to declare.

“Of the registered parties, three have submitted declarations, 108 parties have responded to our correspondence that they have not received donations that require declaration, and 393 political parties did not respond to our correspondence,” Mahlangu said. 

The commission said it had taken steps to force donors to comply, as non-compliance could result in an investigation. 

Section 9 of the act requires that both political parties receiving donations and juristic donors (corporates and entities) declare such donations. The commission, however, said some ANC donors failed to do this.   

“Though the ANC has made the declaration and therefore complied from its end, the donors had not complied with the requirement to separately declare the donation made. This means that the record includes what is referred to as single-legged donation reports,” said Love. 

The commission said it had taken steps to force donors to comply, as non-compliance could result in an investigation. 

“In this regard, the commission has issued a directive in terms of Section 15 of the act for the party to further pursue the donors for compliance. Failure to comply may lead to investigation and possible actions pursued for non-compliance in relation to the specific donors in terms of Section 14 (3) of the act. Since the publication of the report, there has been the necessary compliance,” said Love. 

The act prohibits donations from foreign donors unless intended for the purposes of “training or skills development of a member of a political party; or policy development by a political party”.  

The commission confirmed that two foreign entities made direct donations to one party, the DA, and confirmed it was compliant and no breach or contravention of the act was detected. 

The commission said it had drawn a number of lessons from the exercise. 

“Some political parties and donors waited until the end of the quarter, or until they were reminded before they made their disclosures.

“In future, the commission will encourage political parties and donors to make prompt declarations, to avoid bottlenecks or finding out at the last minute that their declarations were not compliant,” she added. 

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