Speech on the Electoral Matters Amendment Bill [B42B-2023]
Speech by ACDP MP, Steve Swart

Issued by the ACDP Parliamentary Media Office

This is pure unbridled greed with an estimated R50 million extra going to ANC

Mar 12, 2024

House Chair,

The ACDP commends Rev. Meshoe, its leadership, structures and members for a very successful Manifesto Launch this past Saturday at Ellis Park. We have heard the S.O.S. from the people of South Africa. It is indeed time for change. It’s time for SERVICE, ORDER and SAFETY. It’s time to vote for the ACDP.

Chair, the ACDP opposes this bill being rushed through Parliament, and whilst it’s necessary to bring independent candidates under the statutory funding and disclosure requirements, we object in the strongest possible terms the ANC changing the funding formula from 66 per cent proportional and 33 per cent equitable to a 90/10 per cent allocation.

This is a cynical and greedy move that is unnecessary and flies directly in the face of the previous Parliament and its ad hoc committee that spent many months holding public hearings and deliberating on this very issue, and then, unanimously, decided that the split should be 66 per cent proportional and 33 per cent equitable in order to promote multi-party democracy and assist smaller growing parties.

When it was debated in the House, ANC MP, Vincent Smith, said: “All the smaller political parties have raised their concern that the current fund distribution formula of 90 percent proportional and 10 per cent equitable does not conform to the said Constitutional provision, section 236. This bill goes a long way,” he said, “in addressing this matter and should be welcomed by all.”

It was passed unanimously. Why the sudden backtracking now? It is pure unbridled greed … an estimated R50 million extra to the ANC. This, the ACDP will never accept.

It must be emphasised that the principle of proportionality is tempered in section 236 by the requirement of equitable. It could even be 50 per cent/50 percent. The allocation also enhances the integrity of Parliament by reducing dependence on outside sources which can lead to corruption and manipulation of the political system by money interests. It levels the playing field.

The proposed change of formula in today’s bill will result in some cases of parties receiving less than half their existing funds.

The ACDP believes this is in breech of section 236, as well as the test laid down in the Harksen vs Lane judgement. We also believe that the amendments to sections 7 and 9 will, without a resolution of Parliament and the President’s regulation before the May election, result in a serious vacuum where there will be no upper limit or disclosure limit.

For these reasons, the ACDP will not support this bill.

I thank you.   

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