NV approves Electoral Affairs Amendment Bill

Henry

On Tuesday, the National Assembly (NA) approved the amendment bill on Electoral Affairs by 240 votes to 90.

Opposition parties are anything but happy as this amendment law, which was only tabled in December, will change the so-called financing formula according to which public political funding is distributed.

The ANC proposes with the amendment law that the funding formula changes from 66% proportional and 33% fair to 90% – 10%.

Brett Herron, secretary general and member of parliament of GOOD, argued in parliament on Tuesday that should pres. Cyril Ramaphosa signs the amendment law, the ruling party’s funding will increase by 25% while a party like GOOD will have to make do with 50% less funding.

Herron also pointed out that the formula according to which public money is distributed to political parties was amended just three years ago.

At the time, the changes aimed to support political diversity and prevent the system from being skewed. “What is being proposed now seeks to achieve the exact opposite,” says Herron.

Dr. Corné Mulder, chief whip of the FF Plus, agrees.

“The purpose of section 236 of the Constitution is to promote multi-party democracy. The proposals of the ANC with the law amendment will do just the opposite and benefit only one party, namely the ANC.”

Mulder believes that the amendment bill on Electoral Affairs is an undisguised attempt by the ANC to obtain millions more rands of taxpayers’ money for the ruling party’s depleted purse.

“It will not succeed because it goes directly against the directives of the Constitution and because South Africans will strongly oppose it at every level, right up to the Constitutional Court.”

Mulder says the Constitution makes it clear that funding must be allocated in a “fair and proportionate” manner.

“After 1996, the ANC reversed this formula with proportionality first and equity second.

“In addition, that proportional allocation was 90% of the sum total, which meant that the ANC received the largest majority of the funding until a few years ago. There was no real fairness whatsoever in this formula.

“This changed in 2018 pursuant to the Act on the Financing of Political Parties with a formula of two-thirds proportional and one-third fair which did a lot to level the playing field for all parties and promoted true fairness.

“Now the ANC wants to return to the previous model under the guise of funding independent candidates.

“The ANC is playing with fire and putting the upcoming election in jeopardy. He must not think for one second that other political parties and civic organizations will just sit idly by while the ANC blatantly tries to claim the entire election money cake for itself again.”

Mulder says the ANC must be careful that the courts can possibly give effect to the directives of the Constitution and decide to assign a value of 50% each to the fair and proportional.

“And because the ANC’s own financial affairs are just as dire as those of the country he ruled for 30 years, he will then not be able to conduct an election campaign.”

“These are desperate leaps from a desperate party in an attempt to put its hand into the country’s money box for the last time.”