Civic organisation, My Vote Counts, hopes that the Bosasa debacle will spur President Cyril Ramaphosa into signing into law the Political Party Funding Bill.
“We are confident that he will sign by end of November if there is will about corruption and transparency,” the organisation’s spokesperson Sheilan Clarke said on Monday.
Clarke made the comments in the wake of Ramaphosa writing to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete clarifying his previous response to a parliamentary question from DA leader Mmusi Maimane who had asked him about a payment made to his son Andile.
He had told the National Assembly that Andile’s company had a contract with African Global Operations, formerly called Bosasa, for the provision of consultancy services.
In his letter to Mbete, Ramaphosa said he had subsequently been informed that the payment did not relate to that contract.
“The donation was made without my knowledge. I was not aware of the existence of the donation at the time that I answered the question in the National Assembly,” he wrote.
Ramaphosa confirmed that the R500 000 payment was money raised for his candidacy for the ANC presidency and was made on behalf of Bosasa’s Gavin Watson.
The saga came to light as Ramaphosa is expected to sign several bills, including the Political Party Funding Bill, which was passed in June.
Civil society has been pressurising the president to sign the bill well in advance of the 2019 general elections.
The Political Party Funding Bill provides for the establishment of two funds for represented parties, disclosure of donations and the prohibition of certain donations made directly to parties.
It prohibits state institutions from making donations and as well as receiving foreign funding.
The bill also provides that no person or entity may deliver a donation to a member of a party and that members can receive donations on behalf of a party.
The parties will be required to receive donations of up to R15m a year and disclose donations starting from R100 000 in a financial year.
The bill addresses itself to parties in Parliament and provincial legislatures. It does not specifically regulate fundraising by individuals for party leadership campaigns.
Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko said all efforts were being made to expedite the processing of the bills without compromising the obligation imposed on the president by the Constitution.
“President Ramaphosa is therefore assessing the legislation with a view to ensuring that their development – through consultation and drafting – is not vulnerable to legal challenge and that it is constitutionally compliant,” Diko said.
She also said Ramaphosa was mindful of the expectations of all sectors of society who participated in the development of this legislation and for whom implementation of these laws was an important component of addressing the societal and economic issues that gave rise to the legislative proposals.
Clarke said they were aware of loopholes in the bill that needed to be addressed. IOL