RE: OBJECTIONS TO THE POLITICAL PARTY FUNDING BILL
Lepolidex is an independent non-profit organisation that specializes with polling, market research and consulting. Part of our mission is to encourage active citizen participation in matters of national interest, and in particular, elections in the Republic of South Africa. We therefore strive to ensure that our democracy and electoral system is seen to be open, fair and accountable to the electorate.
We have written to President Cyril Ramaphosa, raising our objections to the Political Party Funding Bill, on the following grounds:
- We propose that the Bill should also regulate the funding of individuals who seek to contest as leaders of political parties and those who contest local government elections as independent candidates. We believe that the capture of state institutions usually starts with the undue influence on leaders of political parties and/or political parties. If they remain unregulated the rot will continue unabated.
- We also propose that in order to deepen democracy, the funding of represented of represented political parties should also be extended and/or include political parties and independent councillors that are represented at local government level.
The continued exclusion of political parties and independent councillors that are represented at local government level is not only unconstitutional but it grossly unfair. The case in point is that of the North West based Forum 4 Service Delivery (F4SD) when compared to AGANG SA, PAC and APC. F4SD has 30 councillors, that is, North West (29) and Mpumalanga (1). AGANG SA (2 MP’s), PAC (1 MP, 11 councillors) and APC (1 MP, 15 councillors), have 30 public representatives combined, which is equal to the number of public representatives that F4SD has. The three former political parties receive financial and administrative support because they are represented in the National Assembly. As an example, in the financial year 2016/17 they received a combined allocation of R572, 986.80, and yet a political party participating at local government level, with the same number of public representatives, does not receive any allocation.
In view of the above, we have appealed to the Honourable President not to sign the Political Party Funding Bill in its current form but refer it, in terms of section 84(2)(b) of the Constitution, back to the National Assembly for reconsideration of the Bill’s constitutionality.
We have given the President 14 days to respond to our demand failing which we will have no option but approach the relevant courts to seek judicial review as we strongly believe the Bill is not in the best interests of an open democratic state.
Chairperson & CEO