Electoral Commission Issues Party Funding Fourth Quarter Disclosure Report

The Electoral Commission today issues the party funding’s fourth-quarter Disclosure Report for the financial year 2021/22. This report, together with the three issued previously, follows the successful implementation of the Political Party Funding Act.

The Fourth Quarter Disclosure Report covers all qualifying donations declared by political parties for the three-month period between January and March 2022.

Only two political parties have made declarations for the fourth quarter of the financial year. The two parties are as follows:
• African National Congress (ANC) –  R10 000 000.00; and 
• Democratic Alliance (DA) – R 2 525 387.72

The DA declared an in-kind donation of R 786 152.81 from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF), a German foundation. 

All of DA’s declared donations, except for one, were received from foreign donors – the FNF and Danish Liberal Democracy Programme (DLDP). The combined value of these foreign donations is R 2 405 387.72 constituting 95% of the total value of donations declared by the DA during the fourth quarter.
Of this amount, the FNF donated R 1 713 250.80 and the DLDP donated R 692 136.92.  
Considering that each of these foreign donors have made repeated donations to one political party, i.e., the DA, the Commission has found it necessary to consider the cumulative value of all donations over the financial year under review. The Commission can, therefore, confirm that all the foreign donations declared by the DA were fully compliant with the Act in that they fall within the R 5 million ceiling per donor. Furthermore, the donated funds were utilised for activities falling within the ambit of the law, namely; policy development, training and skills development of members of the political party

In the reporting period, the Commission received a contribution of R 5 000 into the MPDF. This amount was received from a member of the public, Mr Ivan Pillay, on 29 March 2022. The Commission lauds this contribution.
The Commission implores corporates and citizens to make contributions into the Fund as this is a non-partisan mechanism of supporting multi-party democracy, which is cornerstone of our system of governance.

Sy Mamabolo, the Chief Electoral Officer, observes that “The fourth quarter declarations are by far the least, both in terms of value of donations and the number of parties making declarations. For the first time, only two political parties made declarations and the total value of donations was below R 30 million, which was until now the least amount declared in a quarter.
“Noting that the fourth quarter disclosure period was immediately after the local government elections, it appears that there is a nexus between the number and total value of donations and the election cycle. The more imminent the elections, the more likely that parties will receive significant donations.
“Another emerging feature of the party funding disclosure regime is that political parties with the highest representation in the national and provincial legislatures appear more likely to receive donations on a regular basis than those with lower representation. The ANC and the DA being typical in this regard.

The first financial year since the implementation of the Party Funding Act was concluded at the end of March 2022. This means that political parties are now required to submit their audited annual financial statements to the Commission. 
The political parties have three months from the end of the financial year to submit their annual financial statements to their appointed independent auditors, i.e., April to June. The auditors are then provided a further three months, July to September, to audit the submitted annual financial statements. The audited financial statements, accompanied by the auditor’s opinion, must be submitted by the political party’s accounting officer to the Commission by 30 September 2022. 
To assist political parties, the Commission is currently on a national roadshow to assist registered political parties with training on the preparation and submission of audited financial statements. This is part of the efforts to the Commission to increase the extent of compliance with the party funding prescripts

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