Ad hoc committee to consider increased funding for political parties
Babalo Ndenze | 2017-06-06 16:09:42.0
The National Assembly. File photo
Image by: Gallo Images/Beeld/Nasief Manie
The National Assembly has formally adopted an ANC-sponsored motion to establish an ad hoc committee to probe the feasibility of increased public funding of political parties and how to regulate secret donations.
The motion‚ which was introduced by ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu‚ was unanimously approved by all political parties represented in parliament on Tuesday.
The ad hoc committee would comprise of 11 MPs‚ with six coming from the ANC‚ two from the DA‚ one from the EFF and the balances would be accounted for by other smaller parties.
The committee would‚ among other issues related to public funding of parties‚ probe and make recommendations on whether to change or introduce new funding legislation.
It would also probe and propose new measures on how to regulate private funding‚ including dealing with investment companies owned by political parties.
The ANC owns investment firm Chancellor House which has in the past dominated come under fire for business dealings with state-owned-enterprises.
When he first introduced the idea to the media last month‚ Mthembu said public funding of parties was simply inadequate and parliament needed to thoroughly study this matter.
Political parties in parliament will share R150 million among themselves in this financial year (2017/2018) in proportion to their seats in the national legislature.
Mthembu said on Tuesday that the house should note that political parties need adequate funding in order to perform their functions and enhance democracy.
“We are confident that the work of this committee will ensure that all political parties achieve financial sustainability in a manner that is transparent‚ ethical‚ lawful and predictable‚” said Mthembu.
The ad hoc committee must report to the National Assembly by no later than November 30.
IFP chief whip Narend Singh said his party supported the motion.
“We support it to the extent that we think the bigger parties are the ones who benefit more than smaller parties‚” said Singh.