‘Funding must be transparent’
POLITICAL party finances must be open to public scrutiny and support transparency, accountability and the strengthening of democracy, ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize said yesterday.
The ANC had, in line with the invitation of the parliamentary ad hoc committee on the funding of political parties, made a submission relating to the review and strengthening of political party funding, Mkhize said.
“In our submission and in accordance with the ANC’s 52nd and 53rd national conference resolutions, the ANC calls 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,” he said. The current over-reliance by political parties on private donations and the secrecy that clouded party financing fuelled perceptions that anonymous donations from “masked sources” subverted democratic processes, leading to a manipulation of public policy positions in favour of private interests and diluting the voice of citizens.
Transparency, therefore, was necessary to increase public confidence in the democratic system and to allow parties to remain financially sustainable in an ethical manner, he said.
“Party finances must be open to public scrutiny and discussions be held on the desirability of donations from, among other categories, foreign interests or companies that conduct business with the state.”