Frequently asked questions about represented political parties fund
A political party is entitled to an allocation from the RPPF for any financial year that it is represented in the National Assembly and/or in any provincial legislature. In other words, no allocations are made from the RPPF to political parties which are represented in municipal councils only (nor to those which have no public representatives at all).
Section 5(1)(b) of the Public Funding of Represented Political Parties Act says that the allocation may be used "for any purposes compatible with [the party's] functioning as a political party in a modern democracy", and that these include:
Yes: these are set out in section 5(3) of the Act.
A political party may not:
In effect, this means that the RPPF is administered through the IEC, which keeps parties informed of the relevant rules and regulations.
The responsibilities of each political party receiving an allocation from the Fund include the following:
Annual Reports of the Represented Political Party Fund [listed from 1998/99 – 2018/19]
Frequently asked questions about multi-party democracy fund
Any private individual or corporate entity may donate funds to the MPDF. Those excluded from making donations are organs of state, state owned enterprises and any foreign government or foreign government agency.
The following are not permitted to donate funds to the MPDF:
Funds from the MPDF are distributed according to the formula:
Political parties represented in national and/or provincial legislatures are the beneficiaries of the funds raised by the MPDF.
The funds may be used by a represented political party for any purpose compatible with its functioning as a political party including:
The Act prohibits the use of funds from the MPDF by represented political parties:
Depending on availability, funds from the MPDF are distributed quarterly to represented political parties.
Many organisations and individuals want to support multiparty democracy in South Africa but wish to remain impartial/a-political and do not want to support any specific political party.
The MPDF provides a channel for donations in support of multiparty democracy at “an arms’ length” and leaves the distribution of the funds up to the Electoral Commission according to the prescribed formula.
The Fund is carefully regulated and all income, administrative costs and distributions are audited and reported on to Parliament annually.
Donors may also request to remain anonymous when donating to the MPDF.
Frequently asked questions about private funding of political parties
The Political Party Funding Act applies to all registered political parties whether represented in the national and provincial legislatures or not.
The Act further defines "political parties" as "including any entity that accepts donations principally to support or oppose any registered political party or its candidates in an election".
The regulations require each party to disclose any funding above the annual threshold to the Electoral Commission:
Any person or organisation making a donation to a political party which individually or cumulatively exceeds R100 000 per year must report that donation to the Electoral Commission within 30 days of making the donation or within 30 days of when the cumulative donations exceeded R100 000.
The accounting officer of a political party or duly authorized office bearer of the political party is responsible for disclosing donations.
The Electoral Commission is currently developing an online disclosure system which will allow both political parties and donors to made disclosures electronically.
As part of our preparations for the implementation of the Political Party Funding Act and its regulations, the Electoral Commission is developing training guides and material which will be made available to all stakeholders. We are also planning for special training of political party representatives.
Announcements will be made about this in due course.
The Electoral Commission may not accept money for the Multiparty Democracy Fund (MPDF) from:
Purposes for which money from RPPF and MPDF may not be used:
Political parties and donors must disclose donations above a cumulative total of R100 000 in a financial year. This means donations of R100 000 or more must be immediately disclosed and any cumulative donations must be disclosed immediately when they exceed the cumulative total of R100 000 during a year.
Maximum donation amount for private donors (individuals or entities) is R15 million per year, per party.
Parties cannot receive donations from:
Parties may not accept donations where it knows or ought to have known or suspected they are the proceeds of crime and must report this to the Commission.
Parties may accept donations from foreign persons or entities for the purpose of:
Donations include donations in kind but excludes membership fees or any levy imposed by the party on its elected representatives and any funds provided to political parties in terms of sections 57(2)(c) and 116(2)(c) of the Constitution.
A donation in kind includes:
A donation in kind does not include services rendered personally by volunteers.
The Electoral Commission must:
Report annually to Parliament on:
Political parties must disclose all donations received above R100 000 a year (either individual donations of cumulatively) to the Electoral Commission every three months.
Political parties must deposit all donations received into a separate bank account.
Appoint an accounting officer who must:
Independent candidates are currently exempt from the Political Party Funding Act and its regulations. However, proposed amendments to the Promotion of Access to Information Act [insert link] do impose obligations for disclosure of funding on independent candidates. If approved and enacted, it will require independent candidates to keep and publish records of donations via social media.
The Act provides the Electoral Commission with a range of powers to ensure compliance with the legislation and regulations including issuing: