Parliament hears political party funding should be regulated



The Human Sciences Research Council’s Gary Pienaar says voters have a right to know on whom the parties they support depend on for their funding.


The research agency’s advocate Gary Pienaar has been briefing Parliament’s inquiry into political party funding. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN – The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) says the private funding of political parties should be regulated to provide for greater transparency and to curb undue influence.

The research agency’s advocate Gary Pienaar has been briefing Parliament’s inquiry into political party funding.

A range of individuals and organisations, including My Vote Counts and the Right2Know campaign, are set to make submissions during public hearings which started on Tuesday.

The HSRC’s Gary Pienaar says voters have a right to know on whom the parties they support depend on for their funding.

“We would suggest the democratic voice of the ordinary citizen, especially the poor and most vulnerable, exercised through the vote, is easily drowned out by the influence of wealthy donors to political parties and candidates, particularly if their identity and their interests are not known.”

Pienaar hasn’t ruled out the possibility of donors remaining anonymous.

However, he says their contributions should be monitored and channelled through a central oversight body that oversees party funding.

Pienaar says secrecy around donations to parties encourages corruption and influence peddling.

He adds state-owned enterprises and companies doing business with the state should be barred from funding parties.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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