Pretoria - Taxpayers should help fund political parties in elections, ANC treasurer general Mathews Phosa said on Friday.
"(When) we look at all other democracies, the taxpayer
is paying for elections, in support of democracy," Phosa told reporters
He was briefing the media following a two-day workshop
on political party funding attended by African National Congress
regional treasurers from across the country.
"South Africa's situation is that not a cent is paid by
taxpayers for elections, whether it be national, provincial or local
At the moment, political parties have to raise their own funds.
Taxpayer funding of democracy was among recommendations
to have come out of the workshop, which looked at four areas which
needed to be transformed: the control of private donations; increased
public funding; expenditure limits; and the introduction of greater
Taxpayers' money could be used to conduct research and
to train public representatives - such as members of parliament and
MECs - as it is done in Germany.
“Now we don't just throw the guys in parliament and
have the troubles that we had last week and say, 'oh they are not so
effective, they are not so disciplined', you must train them," Phosa
The recommendations that came out of the workshop call
for urgent reform in political party funding, including greater
transparency and caps on certain donations.
Private donations should be capped and declared publicly, should the donor wish it so.
The recommendations from this conference would be
debated at the ANC policy conference later this month. Any resolutions
taken there would need to be ratified at the party's elective conference
in Mangaung in the Free State, in December.