President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed the Political Party Funding Act into operation with effect from April 1.
This was announced by the presidency in a statement on Friday morning.
Ramaphosa signed the Political Party Funding Bill into law early last year but no date of commencement was promulgated at the time.
The ANC had been among parties that complained that the act would cripple the governing party and had called on the law to be sent back to parliament for fine-tuning.
But that will no longer be happening because Ramaphosa is pleased with the act as is.
“The act prohibits donations to parties by foreign governments or agencies, foreign persons or entities, organs of state or state-owned enterprises. Parties may, however, receive funding from foreign entities for training, skills development or policy development. No member of a political party may receive a donation other than for political party purposes,” said the presidency.
“The implementation of the Political Party Funding Act will have far-reaching consequences for good governance and ethical political activity. It will strengthen the confidence of citizens in the democratic political process and enable them to assert their right to information.
“At the same time, through the establishment of the Represented Political Party Fund, which provides public funding to parties, and the Multi-Party Democracy Fund, which funds parties from private sources, the act seeks to ensure that all represented political parties receive sufficient funds for their work in a fair and equitable manner.”
Ramaphosa is also happy with the readiness of state entities that will see to it that the law is implemented correctly.
These include the department of home affairs and the Electoral Commission of South Africa.
“He calls on all parties to work together and with the IEC to ensure the effective implementation of this law.”
In a recent interview with the Sunday Times, IEC boss Sy Mamabolo indicated that the act was long overdue.
“We as the Electoral Commission support the broad principles that are embodied in the act,” Mamabolo said.
“We believe that South African democracy is too precious a national project to leave it to the whims of international donors.
“So, as a country we must look after our own political destiny which should not be determined via external influences.”
By Mawande AmaShabalala – TimesLIVE