Senior research associate at the Institute for Security Studies, Judith February, argues that political parties are not spending money on electioneering effectively.
South Africa's top three political parties, DA, EFF and DA have come out saying they have spent more money campaigning for the upcoming local government elections compared to the past.
ANC head of elections and campaigns, Nomvula Mokonyane, told EWN that her party has spent more than a billion rand.
February says the way in which South Africans campaign has to be questioned.
Sometimes on every single poster you see the same poster. Is that the most effective way of using money for political parties? I don't think that question has been answered.— Judith February, senior research associate at the Institute for Security Studies
She says information is the oxygen of democracy, therefore, political parties should be transparent about who is funding their campaigns.
The issue here is about the conflict of interests. If we know who is giving so much money to the ANC or DA... if there are contracts and tenders being given one is able, as a citizen, to connect the dots. At the moment we have no such information which I think undermines one's right to vote and to make an informed decision on who to vote for.— Judith February, senior research associate at the Institute for Security Studies
Currently, regulation in South Africa states political parties do not have to disclose their funding donors.
Political parties do receive an allocation from parliament according to party size.
Section 5(1)(b) of the Public Funding of Represented Political Parties Act says that the allocation may be used “for any purposes compatible with [the party’s] functioning as a political party in a modern democracy”.
Listen to the full interview below...