The ad hoc committee that will investigate party funding won't be all about finding more money for political parties.
Senior African National Congress (ANC) MP Vincent Smith made sure to underline this point shortly after he was elected to chair this committee on Wednesday.
The National Assembly approved the establishment of the committee on June 6.
The committee’s terms of reference are to inquire into, and make recommendations on, funding of political parties represented in national and provincial legislatures, with a view to introducing amendments to the legislation, if necessary.
The committee will make recommendations on the regulation of private funding, as well as the model of public and private funding for political parties.
Smith said his first thought was that the committee's work should strengthen accountability and transparency.
"I think it is also about enhancing and protecting our democracy," he said.
"It's not just about increasing funding."
He said budgetary constraints should always be held in mind.
"It is important that our product is such that the voices of the electorate aren't diluted by private interests who look after their own narrow interests."
Public asked for submissions
The committee consists of 11 members, with six from the ANC. These are Smith, his deputy chief whip Doris Dlakude - who also served on the ad hoc committees on Nkandla - Nocawe Mafu, Bongani Bonga, Lindiwe Maseko and Donald Gumede, with Nonhlanhla Ncube-Ndaba as an alternate member.
The four Democratic Alliance MPs will be Alf Lees and James Selfe, with David Maynier and Malcolm Figg as alternates.
Floyd Shivambu will represent the Economic Freedom Fighters, Corné Mulder the Freedom Front Plus, the Inkatha Freedom Party's Narend Singh - who also served on the ad hoc committee that investigated the SABC board, with Themba Godi of the African People's Convention and Moses Khubisa of the National Freedom Party as alternates.
Smith was also chairperson of the ad hoc committee that investigated the SABC board. This committee was characterised by camaraderie amongst the members of different parties, and Smith was lauded by all parties for the way in which he chaired the committee.
The public has been given until the July 21 to make written submissions, after which the committee will arrange for interested parties to make oral presentations.
The committee will start its work on August 1.