Report Underscores South African Political Parties’ Funding Woes
(Bloomberg) -- South African political parties are in dire financial straits, with most unable to raise sufficient money to meet their running expenses, a report released by the Independent Electoral Commission shows.
The ruling African National Congress, which has a monthly wage bill of 18 million rand ($1.3 million), secured just 10.7 million rand in donations in the three months through July, the IEC said on Thursday. It even lagged the main opposition Democratic Alliance, which raised 16 million rand.
Of the country’s other 502 registered parties, ActionSA was the only other one that received donations exceeding 100,000 rand, the threshold for public disclosure under a new law that came into effect in April. The report didn’t cover smaller contributions.
The Political Party Funding Act also forbids parties from accepting more than 15 million rand a year from a single donor. While the measure was aimed at curbing corruption, politicians complained that it deters corporates from donating. The funding crunch comes in the run-up to a Nov. 1 municipal vote.
The ANC’s financial problems have been well documented -- it hasn’t paid its staff for the past three months and a number of them have gone on strike. The party, which previously raised more than 70% of its funds from private donors, has now resorted to a crowd-funding campaign to help it pay its bills and fund its election campaign.
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