My Vote Counts urges political parties to disclose funding ahead of elections

My Vote Counts urges political parties to disclose funding ahead of elections

Lobby group My Vote Counts has hailed the signing of the Political Funding Bill into law, saying it will enhance transparency, accountability, and inclusiveness.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the bill into law on Tuesday.

It is now law for political parties to reveal their private funding annually.  

The Constitutional Court last year declared the Promotion of Access to Information Act invalid due to its failure to allow for the disclosure of donations to political parties and independent candidates.

My Vote Counts took the matter to court. 

Parliament subsequently established an ad-hoc committee to draw up the provision for the bill.

The group’s Sheilan Clarke says it is disappointing that parties won’t be forced to disclose funding before this year’s elections.

"This delay means that the South African electorate will, once again, go to the polls without access to this most crucial piece of information. 

"It seems likely that this will only happen after the elections and is a genuine missed opportunity to deepen our democracy. Voting without knowing who funds our political parties undermines this right, " Clarke says.

The group believes nothing stops any political party from disclosing this information ahead of the elections. 

"We urge all political parties to makes these disclosures, there is nothing stopping them to do so before the elections.

"It would be a sign of good faith and an indication that political parties sincerely support the principle of transparency,” Clarke says.

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