Voters have a right to know who funds political parties, ConCourt rules

Voters have a right to know who funds political parties, ConCourt rules

The Constitutional Court has 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.


Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng found that the details surrounding the donation of funds to any political party or independent candidate must be recorded, preserved and made reasonably accessible.

The highest court in the land upheld an earlier ruling  by the Western Cape High Court, brought by campaign group My Vote Counts. 

Mogoeng said the public can only exercise their right to vote effectively if they have access to funding information.

Parliament has been given 18 months to remedy the Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000, which was declared “constitutionally deficient” on Thursday.

Moegeng held that the records of the financial assistance given to officials who stand for office must be made available to the public as “not all funders support political campaigns with clean motives”.

He argued that the disclosure of funding will help clamp down on private corruption in the public sector.  

“The effective exercise of the right to vote in turn depends on the voting public’s access to information. Particularly information on the private funding of political funding and independent candidates. Voters would only be able to make informed and responsible political decisions and participate meaningfully in the governance in the nations affairs when properly informed.”

Parliament is currently in the process of enacting the Political Funding Bill. It has been passed in the National Assembly and is currently at the National Council of Provinces for concurrence.

ALSO READ: Political party funding Bill gets the nod

Civil society organisations have asked lawmakers to speed up the process as campaigning for next year’s national elections have already started.

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