The United Democratic Movement (UDM) welcomes the decision of the Western Cape High Court that ordered Parliament to amend, within 18 months, the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to compel political parties to disclose their sources of private funding. It is a victory for democracy and accountability.
The UDM has long agitated for the review of party funding legislation to eliminate the trend of selling the country to the highest bidder. #GuptaLeaks have shown palpable evidence, that the South Africa’s political dispensation is vulnerable to manipulation by individuals, groups and companies for nefarious and very selfish goals.
Regarding public funding, the UDM recognises that such funding (as sourced from the taxpayer), should be in line with international benchmarks and experience, and the principles of good governance. Public funding of political parties should therefore be regulated by law, but this requires a legislative review, with an equitable distribution formula, such that true democracy is promoted.
We therefore believe that this judgment will also guide the Parliamentary ad hoc committee currently reviewing party funding. We think that the reviewed legislation must make bold provisions for disclosure by parties. The electorate needs to know, and hold political parties accountable on how they run their affairs.
Issued by UDM