Overview

* Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this website dealing with political party funding has been developed according to the Political Party Funding Act (6 of 2018) and its associated draft regulations which were published for comment in March 2019. These regulations have not been finalised and are subject to further amendment and approval. The information provided on this website is therefore also subject to change. Political parties, donors and other interested persons should consult the legislation and approved regulations for certainty on their legal obligations and responsibilities.

Welcome to the Electoral Commission’s information portal on the funding of political parties in South Africa.

The Electoral Commission is in the process of implementing the Political Party Funding Act (6 of 2018) which mandates it to manage both the public and private funding of political parties, in line with international best practice in ensuring transparency in party funding.

The Political Party Funding Act provides legislation for three key areas:

  • The annual disbursement of public money to political parties represented in national and provincial legislatures through the Represented Political Parties Fund (RPPF)
  • The establishment of a new Multiparty Democracy Fund (MPDF) which will accept private donations and disburse these to political parties represented in national and provincial legislatures.
  • The regulation of private funding (donations) to political parties, including requiring disclosure of all donations above an annual threshold by political parties and donors, and imposing certain restrictions on the source and use of such donations.


The Political Party Funding Act was assented to by President Cyril Ramaphosa in January 2019 but is not yet in effect. The Act will be implemented in a phased approach over the next two to three years with provisions only commencing once the necessary regulations, capacity and systems are in place.

In the meantime all current legislation and regulations relating to party funding (i.e. the Public Funding of Represented Political Parties Act, 103 of 1997) remain valid until the new Political Party Funding Act is promulgated.

Background to the Political Party Funding Act

On 6 June 2017 the National Assembly resolved to establish the Ad Hoc Committee on the Funding of Political Parties (“the Committee”) with a mandate to enquire into and make recommendations on the funding of political parties represented in national and provincial legislatures with a view to introducing, if necessary, amending legislation. 

The establishment of the Committee was in response to growing public and political pressure for the introduction of a regulatory framework governing party funding. This included a number of legal challenges seeking to compel political parties to disclosure their sources of funding by civil society organisations between 2016 and 2018. 

As a point of departure the Committee invited public comment on the funding of political parties including the adequacy or not of the existing legislation. The Electoral Commission was also invited to brief the Committee on party funding including international best practice.

On 22 August 2017 the Committee, having deliberated on the public input received, agreed to repeal the existing Public Funding of Represented Political Parties Act, No 103 of 1997, and instructed the Parliamentary Legal Services Unit to draft new legislation. 

The Political Party Funding Bill was subsequently approved by the National Assembly in March 2018 and approved without amendment by the National Council of Provinces in July 2018. 

The Act was assented to by the President on 22 January 2019.

* Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this website dealing with political party funding has been developed according to the Political Party Funding Act (6 of 2018) and its associated draft regulations which were published for comment in March 2019. These regulations have not been finalised and are subject to further amendment and approval. The information provided on this website is therefore also subject to change. Political parties, donors and other interested persons should consult the legislation and approved regulations for certainty on their legal obligations and responsibilities.