Al Jama-ah’s Ganief Hendricks accused ANC MPs of turning their backs against ethical principles when passing the Electoral Matters Amendment Bill.

The ANC has betrayed the principles of democracy, according the Al Jama-ah party.

The party is unhappy after National Assembly passed the Electoral Matters Amendment Bill on Tuesday.

The Political Party Funding Act (PPFA) is one of the changes that will come into effect after the Bill was passed.  

This means the funding allocated to political parties and independent candidates will decrease.

Under the new formula, 90% of funds will be distributed based on proportional representation, while the remaining 10% will be allocated on an equitable basis.

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Electoral Matters Amendment Bill ‘undercutting’ smaller parties

Al Jama-ah said it is “disgusted” by this.

It said it will lead to the ANC and the DA getting double the amount of funding, while smaller parties like Al Jama-ah will get half.

“Al Jama-ah has received half of its present funding despite an agreement reached on equity; it seems that ‘equity’ is a meaningless word in the current political climate,” it said.

“The existing formula in the Political Party Funding Act makes provisions for funds on the basis of two thirds proportional and one third equitable; the bill changes this to 90% proportional and 10% equitable.”

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Al Jama-ah suggested this was a deliberate attempt by the ANC to cripple smaller parties.

“The ANC government knows that the smaller parties play a critical role in the present environment, yet it adopted a position that undercut instead of creating a more competitive environment.”

Al Jama-ah’s leader Ganief Hendricks said the “ANC has committed a great threat to the country’s democracy” by passing the Bill.

He accused ANC MPs of turning their backs against ethical principles, adding they should be “ashamed for such a betrayal”.

“When liberation movements were together in the trenches, we did not duck the bullets proportionally,” he said.

Bill is ‘insulting’

“South Africans had to endure the insult of watching out of touch MPs fight over what share of the R1.5 billion of public funding each of them should get, while they suffered in cities and towns, farmlands and villages across our country,” said ActionSA’s Alan Beesley.

He added that bigger parties that benefit most from the new funding rules are the same parties that have “either failed in government or have failed in opposition”. 

Although the Bill was supported by the ANC, EFF and NFP, it was rejected by the DA, IFP, FF+, ACDP, UDM, GOOD and others.

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The new Bill also allows the president to determine the upper limits of how much money political parties and independent candidates may accept as donations.

In addition, it empowers the president to determine the threshold at which parties and independent candidates should declare their donations.

DA MP Adrian Roos said the Bill was a “crude attempt to direct more public and private donor funds to the coffers of the ANC to help them to try and cling onto power”.

Additional reporting by Molefe Seeletsa


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