Public comments and submissions on the funding of political parties have now been closed‚ the ad hoc committee on the funding of political parties said on Tuesday.
The committee’s chairman Vincent Smith told TimesLIVE that the deadline for submissions was 5pm on Monday.
“We’ve received about 19 submissions. On the 4th of August we will evaluate those submissions and on the 15‚ 16 and 17 [of August]‚ we will hold public hearings.”
Smith said out of the submissions‚ the committee will draft legislation‚ which it will take back to the public for “engagement”.
“The public will have another opportunity to comment on the legislation. We will then work on it based on those submissions.”
The proposed legislation will then be sent to the National Assembly for adjudication and adoption‚ Smith said.
Smith said parliament took a decision to look at how political parties are funded as they are currently not obliged to disclose where they get their private funding from.
“Private funding [of political parties] has never been interrogated. They could be getting money from drug lords or a local donor who has his own narrow interests. It’s also about accountability and our democracy and making sure that it is not sold to the highest bidder‚” Smith said.
The National Assembly unanimously agreed in June to establish an ad hoc committee to look into the funding of political parties. The committee consists of 11 members — six from the ANC‚ two from the DA‚ one from the EFF and two representing all other parties in the National Assembly.
The committee will make recommendations on the funding of political parties‚ which may include amending or introducing legislation and finding a model for adequate public funding for political parties represented in parliament and provincial legislatures. It will also look at the regulation of funding of parties by private institutions as well as investment entities owned by political parties.
Source: TMG Digital.