Transparency urged in funding of political parties
THERE seems to be agreement that there should be greater transparency and regulation of the funding of political parties in the country.
This emerged from some of the submissions made to the newly-formed parliamentary ad hoc committee on funding of political parties.
Some of the submissions include banning foreign funding and a push for regular disclosure of finances.
The committee, led by ANC MP Vincent Smith, is tasked with looking into the funding of political parties and making recommendations, which include laws and methods of public funding in legislatures.
The committee had given the public until last Monday to make written submissions.
Smith said yesterday he was impressed by the number and strength of submissions.
He said 17 submissions were received from a cross-section of South Africans that ranged from parties to individuals, academics and civil society.
Smith said the committee would meet on August 3 to look at all the submissions, and then invite people and organisations to make oral presentations between August 15 and 17.
“After taking oral presentations, we will start drafting legislation. Once we are done, we will take it back to the public for comment to be incorporated into the draft,” he said.
According to Smith, there was much interest in the committee’s work, judging by the submissions.
“There is an agreement that transparency is required. In principle, there must be disclosure, and foreign funding should be looked at again,” Smith said.
In its submissions to the committee, R2K said there was no legal requirements for parties to disclose where they get money.
“This legal spot means that the relationship between money and politics is shrouded in secrecy. In that secret space, deals have been struck, policies have been influenced and tenders have been sold.
“The will of ordinary South Africans has been outbid by capital,” it said.