South Africa passes amendment bill regulating political funding

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The South African National Assembly passed an amendment bill on regulating political funding.

The bill, which will amend the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA), directs political leaders to record the identity of and the amounts of money paid by all individuals or entities who donate more than 100,000 rands (around 6739 U.S. dollars) in any given financial year, parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said.

Under the bill, political leaders must make the records available quarterly and keep the records for at least five years, Mothapo added.

On June 21, 2018, the Constitutional Court declared the PAIA “invalid” to the extent that it failed to provide for the access to the information about private funding of political parties and independent candidates. The court gave parliament 18 months to amend the act.

On June 24 this year, the National Assembly’s Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services tabled a memorandum in the parliament, requesting permission to initiate an amendment bill.

Mothapo said the committee undertook comprehensive public consultations in processing the bill, including calls for written submissions and public hearings, before submitting the bill to the National Assembly, or the lower house.

The bill will now go to the National Council of Provinces, or the upper house, for consideration, he said.

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