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RISE Mzansi takes largest chunk of donations to political parties

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RISE Mzansi takes largest chunk of donations to political parties

RISE Mzansi Gauteng Premier candidate Vuyiswa Ramokgopa & party leader Songezo Zibi
RISE Mzansi Gauteng Premier candidate Vuyiswa Ramokgopa & party leader Songezo Zibi

29th February 2024

By: Sashnee Moodley
Senior Deputy Editor Polity and Multimedia

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In the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa’s (IEC’s) latest party funding disclosure report, RISE Mzansi declared the highest amount of donations, totaling just over R16.7-million.

In the third quarter, seven political parties declared their donations for the period between October 1 and December 31, 2023.

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The total value of donations for the quarter was R59 052 065.82. The IEC said there had been a steady increase in the value of donations disclosed for the quarter, which it attributed to an increase in party fundraising ahead of the May elections.

RISE Mzansi, which registered with the IEC in September last year, received a donation of R15-million from Rebecca Oppenheimer, who the IEC said had also previously donated to the Democratic Alliance (DA) and ActionSA. RISE Mzansi also declared R1-million from Main Street 1564, and two in-kind donations from InJozi Design (R184 228) and Kairos Communication (R559 958) in the form of website design and party poster printing and flighting, respectively.

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Meanwhile, ActionSA snagged the second highest in donations, with just over R13.9-million.

Regular donors Victoria Freudenheim and Martin Moshal gave the party R7 486 200 and R5 000 000, respectively. The party also received donations from African Equity Corporation (R1 000 000), SHIYAN 80422 (R150 000), Solomon David Group (R127 750) and Alan Beesley (R148 000).

The African National Congress declared R10-million in donations, all from the Chancellor House Trust.

Build One South Africa (BOSA) declared R8.5-million, with R6-million of that coming from Jessica Bridget Slack Jell and R2-million from Moshal, who also donated to ActionSA. RTH Investments made a donation of R500 000.

“Over and above these donations, BOSA previously received and declared a donation of R5 000 000 made by Mary Slack, the mother of Jessica Bridget Slack Jell, during the second quarter of the 2022/23 financial year. This was a manual donation declaration submitted through an email as opposed to the Online Party Funding System that is purposefully created for declaration of donations,” the IEC said.

The Patriotic Alliance had over R7-million in donations. A total of R2 759 130 came from the party’s leader Gayton McKenzie while deputy leader Kenny Kunene made a donation of R1 007 250. RED C2 donated R2-million and Downtown Spares gave the party R380 000. XMOOR Transport made a donation of R190 000, Metrowired donated R380 000, XTX Trade donated R190 000 and Rapula Mogaki donated R190 000.

“The accompanying documents to the donation submitted to the Commission demonstrated that the multiple donations amounting to R190 000 were towards the political party’s gala dinner which was held sometime in November of 2023. Ordinarily, these amounts should not have been declared as donations but rather kept on record for disclosure as “other income” in the audited annual financial statements in terms of section 12(3)(d) of the Act. However, the Commission is publishing these as voluntarily declared by the political party,” the IEC said.

Meanwhile, opposition party, the DA, declared over R2.6-million in donations, with the largest monetary donation of R1-million from Artemis Properties. Beacon Rock donated R999 711.81, Joof Alberts Trust donated R250 000, Indawo (Cape) donated R150 000 and A Dymond donated R136 500. The DA’s usual donor, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, made an in-kind and monetary donation of R71 797.24, some of which was the cost of communication training for members.

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) received an in-kind donation of R191 040.77 for the quarter, from Konrad Adenauer Stiftung NPC, relating to a training workshop for members.

“Foreign donations for the third quarter were R71 797.24 and R191 040.77 declared by DA and IFP, respectively. For each of these parties, the donations were compliant with the legislation in that they did not exceed the set limit of R5-million per party per financial year and were utilised for purposes sanctioned by the law,” the IEC said.

Meanwhile, the Multi-Party Democracy Fund, created through the Political Party Funding Act in 2020, with the intention of encouraging financial contributions to all represented political parties, received R5-million from repeat donor Standard Bank.

The IEC said the funds had already been disseminated to parties.

“For the Electoral Commission, this is an indication that there are some in the corporate sector that recognise the role that Corporate South Africa can play to strengthen multi-party democracy in South Africa. The Commission continues to call on other corporate entities and individual members of the society to take up the challenge and support this good cause,” the IEC said.

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