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politics

South African Law on Party Funding to Be Implemented April 1

South African Law on Party Funding to Be Implemented April 1

  • Failure to disclose may result in fine, criminal prosecution
  • Country scheduled for elections this year, most likely in May
A street vendor sells regalia depicting South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in Durban on Jan. 12, 2019.

A street vendor sells regalia depicting South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in Durban on Jan. 12, 2019.

Photographer: Rajesh Jantilal/AFP via Getty Images

A street vendor sells regalia depicting South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in Durban on Jan. 12, 2019.

Photographer: Rajesh Jantilal/AFP via Getty Images

A law requiring political parties in South Africa to reveal their funding will come into effect on April 1, the country’s electoral commission said.

The Political Party Funding Bill, which Eyewitness News said was signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa late Tuesday, requires parties to disclose all donations above 100,000 rand ($7,200). It also prohibits them from accepting donations from foreign governments, state-owned entities and organs of state.

“We are planning to implement the act on April 1 and the practicalities are such that it may be impossible for parties to submit their disclosures before the election date,” Sy Mamabolo, the chief electoral officer of the Independent Electoral Commission, told reporters Wednesday in the capital, Pretoria, referring to voting likely to take place in May. “Soon thereafter there will be a requirement for them to submit and that may include elections-related expenditure.”

Failure to comply with the law, that requires disclosure by the donor and receiving party, could result in a fine or criminal prosecution, Mamabolo added.