Parliamentary committee approves party funding bill

Parliament’s ad hoc committee on the funding of political parties approved the political party funding bill on Tuesday. But this is not the end of the road for the bill.

ANC deputy chief whip, and member of the committee, Doris Dlakude explained that the committee’s report, which includes the bill, would be tabled in the National Assembly on Thursday. Each party will have the opportunity to have its say on the bill, in the form of declarations which lasts three minutes.

The public will have another opportunity to comment on the bill after it is tabled.

“When we come back next year, after the budget, we will debate the bill,” said Dlakude.

The bill will then be referred to the National Council of Provinces.

The 11-member multi-party committee was charged with inquiring into, and making recommendations on, the funding of political parties represented in national and provincial legislatures, with a view to introducing amended legislation, if required, reads a statement from the committee released after its meeting.

It was to consider a model of public and private funding for political parties and the desirability of regulating private funding in all its forms, including investment entities owned by political parties.

The committee has recommended a repeal of the existing legislation and has developed a new framework to address the weaknesses identified.

“We are confident that the process was transparent, inclusive and will stand the test of time. We began by inviting written and oral comments on the existing legislation and received 17 from individuals and organisations,” said ad hoc committee chairperson Vincent Smith.

In the bill, the committee recommends that the Represented Political Party Fund and the proposed Multi-party Democracy Fund be managed by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). It further says that the two funds should be managed by a separate business unit, with its own chief executive.

The committee thanked the individuals, organisations and other stakeholders who participated in the process and contributed to the development of the bill. – News24

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