JOHANNESBURG — There was some celebration recently about the signing of the Political Party Funding Bill by President Cyril Ramaphosa. But as legal expert Pierre de Vos explains in the article below, there are still a lot of questions around the potency of the Bill.
Furthermore, Ramaphosa hasn’t indicated yet as to when or even if the Bill will be enacted in law, casting doubt over the government’s seriousness in tackling this issue. In the meantime, an election is coming up. Party funding is a gaping hole in our democracy and needs to be closed as soon as possible to prevent the rise of more Bosasa-Watsons and Guptas in future.
This article below first appeared in the Daily Maverick and is republished here with permission. – Gareth van Zyl By Pierre de Vos* Towards the end of January this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that he had signed into law the Political Party Funding Bill. What he did not say, was that he had not gazetted the proclamation that would bring the Act into operation as required by section 26 of that Act.
(A search on Sabinet reveals that on 8 February 2019 the commencement date for the Act had still not yet been proclaimed.) Pierre de Vos The signing of the Act was, therefore, an empty public relations exercise, creating the impression that transparency is on the way, without actually doing anything to ensure that the Act comes into operation. When the President will bring the Act into operation (if at all) is anyone’s guess.
It could be next month, it could be in five years, or it could be never.