South Africa

Change country

Question Value
1. Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to political parties?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    The law prohibits donations from foreign governments, agencies, persons or legal entities but allows some funding from such sources for training and policy development.

  • Source

    "(1) Political parties may not accept a donation from any of the following sources: (a) Foreign governments or foreign government agencies; (b) subject to subsection (4), foreign persons or entities; (...)

    (4) Subject to subsection (5), nothing in subsection (1)(b) prevents a political party from accepting donations from foreign entities for the purpose of— (a) training or skills development of a member of a political party; or (b) policy development by a political party."

    Article 8, Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), 2018.

2. Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to candidates?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    "(1) No person or entity may deliver a donation to a member of a political party other than for party political purposes. (2) A member of a political party may only receive a donation contemplated in subsection (1) on behalf of the party. (3) No person may circumvent subsections (1) or (2), or any of the provisions of this Chapter."

    Article 10, Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), 2018

3. Is there a ban on corporate donations to political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
4. Is there a ban on corporate donations to candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
5. Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
6. Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
7. Is there a ban on anonymous donations to political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
8. Is there a ban on anonymous donations to candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
9. Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
10. Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
11. Is there a ban on donations from corporations with partial government ownership to political parties?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    The Political Party Funding Act prohibits donations from state-owned enterprises.

  • Source

    "(1) Political parties may not accept a donation from any of the following sources: (...) (d) state-owned enterprises."

    Article 8, Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), 2018.

12. Is there a ban on donations from corporations with partial government ownership to candidates?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    "(1) No person or entity may deliver a donation to a member of a political party other than for party political purposes. (2) A member of a political party may only receive a donation contemplated in subsection (1) on behalf of the party. (3) No person may circumvent subsections (1) or (2), or any of the provisions of this Chapter."

    Article 10, Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), 2018

13. Is there a ban on the use of state resources in favour or against a political party or candidate?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    All organs of state are prohibited from contributing to political parties.

  • Source

    "(1) Political parties may not accept a donation from any of the following sources: (...) (c) organs of state."

    Article 8, Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), 2018.

14. Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party during a non-election specific period?
  • CodeYes, for both natural and legal persons
  • Comment
  • Source

    "(2) A political party may not accept a donation from a person or entity in excess of the prescribed amount within a financial year.

    (5) The total donations contemplated in subsection (4) is limited to a prescribed amount within a financial year."

    Article 8, Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), 2018.

     

15. If there is a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party during a non-election specific period, what is the limit?
  • Code Fifteen million rand per year (USD 830,000).
  • Comment
  • Source

    "Upper limit of donations 7. The amount contemplated in section 8(2) of the Act is fifteen million rand within a financial year.

    Limit on donations from foreign entity 8. The amount contemplated in section 8(5) of the Act is five million rand within a financial year."

    Clauses 7 & 8 of Schedule 2 of the Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), 2018.

16. Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party during an election?
  • CodeYes, for both natural and legal persons
  • Comment
  • Source

    "(2) A political party may not accept a donation from a person or entity in excess of the prescribed amount within a financial year.

    (5) The total donations contemplated in subsection (4) is limited to a prescribed amount within a financial year."

    Article 8, Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), 2018.

17. If there is a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party during an election, what is the limit?
  • Code Fifteen million rand per year (USD 830,000).
  • Comment
  • Source

    "Upper limit of donations 7. The amount contemplated in section 8(2) of the Act is fifteen million rand within a financial year.

    Limit on donations from foreign entity 8. The amount contemplated in section 8(5) of the Act is five million rand within a financial year."

    Clauses 7 & 8 of Schedule 2 of the Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), 2018.

18. Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a candidate?
  • CodeYes, for both natural and legal persons
  • Comment

    Donations can only be received on behalf of party.

  • Source
19. If there is a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a candidate, what is the limit?
  • Code Regular limit applies.
  • Comment
  • Source
20. Is there a limit on the amount a candidate can contribute to their own election campaign?
  • CodeNo data
  • Comment
  • Source
21. Is there a limit on in-kind donations to political parties?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    Regular limit applies. In-kind donations are included in the definition of donation.

  • Source

    "donation in kind— (a) includes— (i) any money lent to the political party other than on commercial terms; (ii) any money paid on behalf of the political party for any expenses incurred directly or indirectly by that political party; (iii) the provision of assets, services or facilities for the use or benefit of a political party other than on commercial terms; or (iv) a sponsorship provided to the political party; but (b) does not include services rendered personally by a volunteer;"

    Article 1, Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), 2018.

22. Is there a limit on in-kind donations to candidates?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    Donations can only be received on behalf of party.

  • Source
23. Is there a ban on political parties engaging in commercial activities?
  • CodeNo data
  • Comment
  • Source
24. Is there a ban on political parties taking loans in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    If not granted on commercial terms, then loan is treated as an in-kind donation.

  • Source

    "donation in kind— (a) includes— (i) any money lent to the political party other than on commercial terms; (ii) any money paid on behalf of the political party for any expenses incurred directly or indirectly by that political party; (iii) the provision of assets, services or facilities for the use or benefit of a political party other than on commercial terms; or (iv) a sponsorship provided to the political party; but (b) does not include services rendered personally by a volunteer;"

    Article 1, Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), 2018.

25. Is there a ban on candidates taking loans in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeNo data
  • Comment
  • Source
26. Is there a ban on donors to political parties/candidates participating in public tender/procurement processes?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
27. Are there provisions requiring donations to go through the banking system?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    "(1) A political party must— (a) deposit all donations received by that political party, membership fees and levies imposed by the political party on its representatives into an account with a bank registered as a bank in terms of the Banks Act, 1990 (Act No. 94 of 1990), in that political party’s name;"

    Article 12, Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), 2018.

Question Value
28. Are there provisions for direct public funding to political parties?
  • CodeYes, regularly provided funding
  • Comment

    There is a Represented Political Party Fund (public funding) and a Multi-Party Democracy Fund (private funding) administered by the Electoral Commission (IEC).

  • Source

    "(1) A Represented Political Party Fund is hereby established for the purpose of enhancing multi-party democracy by providing for the funding of represented political parties."

    Article 2, Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), 2018.

    "(1) The Commission may allocate money from the Funds to a represented political party only."

    Article 6, Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), 2018.

     

29. What are the eligibility criteria for political parties to receive public funding?
  • CodeRepresentation in elected body
  • Comment
  • Source

    "(1) The Commission may allocate money from the Funds to a represented political party only."

    Article 6, Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), 2018.

30. What is the allocation calculation for political parties to receive public funding?
  • CodeEqual | Proportional to seats received
  • Comment
  • Source

    "(2) Any allocation from the Funds must be made to a represented political party in accordance with the prescribed formula. (3) The formula prescribed in subsection (2) must be based on— (a) in part, an equitable allocation taking into account a weighted scale of representation for an allocation to a represented political party; and (b) in part, a proportional allocation taking into account the relationship that the number of a represented political party’s representatives in both the National Assembly and the provincial legislatures bears to the sum of the seats in these legislatures. (4) The Commission must apply the formula prescribed in subsection (2) taking into account the number of representatives of each represented political party and the number of seats in the respective legislatures based on the results of the election."

    Article 6, Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), 2018.

31. What are the provisions on 'ear marking' direct public funding to political parties (how it should be used)?
  • CodeOngoing party activities | Intra-party institution | Research and policy initiatives
  • Comment

    The Political Party Funding Act lists uses disallowed of the Funds under Section 7 (2)

  • Source

    "(1) Subject to subsection (2), the money paid in terms of section 6(7) may be used by that represented political party for any purpose compatible with its functioning as a political party in a modern democracy including— (a) the development of the political will of the people; (b) bringing the political party’s influence to bear on the shaping of public opinion; (c) inspiring and furthering political education; (d) promoting active participation by individual citizens in political life; (e) exercising an influence on political trends; (f) ensuring continuous and vital links between the people and organs of state; and (g) complying with the provisions of this Act."

    Article 7, Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), 2018.

32. Are there provisions for free or subsidized access to media for political parties?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    "Airtime in respect of Party Election Broadcasts (PEBs) shall be allocated by the Authority to the registered political parties contesting the national and provincial elections on the basis of the respective formulae set out in Annexure A of these Regulations."

    Paragraph 5, Regulations on Party Election Broadcasts, Political Advertisements, the Equitable Treatment of Political Parties by Broadcasting Licensees and Related Matters, 2014.

33. What criteria determine allocation for free or subsidized access to media for political parties?
  • CodeEqual | Number of candidates | Share of seats
  • Comment
  • Source

    Annexure 5, Regulations on Party Election Broadcasts, Political Advertisements, the Equitable Treatment of Political Parties by Broadcasting Licensees and Related Matters, 2014.

34. Are there provisions for free or subsidized access to media for candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
35. Are there provisions for any other form of indirect public funding?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
36. Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties tied to gender equality among candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
37. Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

Question Value
38. Is there a ban on vote buying?
  • CodeNo data
  • Comment
  • Source
39. Are there limits on the amount a political party can spend?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
40. If there are limits on the amount a political party can spend, what is the limit?
  • CodeNot applicable
  • Comment
  • Source
41. Are there limits on the amount a candidate can spend?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
42. If there are limits on the amount a candidate can spend, what is the limit?
  • CodeNot applicable
  • Comment
  • Source
43. Are there limits on the amount that third parties can spend on election campaign activities?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
44. Are there limits on traditional media advertising spending in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
45. Are there limits on online media advertising spending in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
46. Do any other restrictions on online media advertisement (beyond limits) exist?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

Question Value
47. Do political parties have to report regularly on their finances?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    Annual financial reports are due by 31 March of each year. The IEC published quarterly donation reports submitted by the political parties.

  • Source

    Articles 8 and 12, Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), 2018.

    Paragraph 11(2), Schedule 2 of Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), 2018.

48. Do political parties have to report on their election campaign finances?
49. Do candidates have to report on their election campaign finances?
50. Do third parties have to report on election campaign finances?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
51. Is information in reports from political parties and/or candidates to be made public?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    Articles 9, 14 and 22, Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), 2018.

52. Must reports from political parties and/or candidates reveal the identity of donors?
  • CodeSometimes
  • Comment

    Donations above 100,000 rand within a financial year are disclosed.

  • Source

    "The threshold referred to in section 9(1)(a) of the Act is R100 000,00 within a financial year."

    Paragraph 9, Schedule 2 of Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), 2018.

53. Must reports from political parties and/or candidates include information on itemized income?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    "The separate books and records of account required by section 12(2)(c) of the Act must be kept according to generally recognised accepted accounting practices, and must include the following: (a) Records showing all transactions involving allocated moneys; (b) records showing all assets acquired with allocated moneys; (c) records showing commitments entered into in respect of allocated moneys; (d) a balance sheet; (e) an income and expenditure statement; and (f) a cash flow statement."

    Paragraph 10, Schedule 2 of Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), 2018.

54. Must reports from political parties and/or candidates include information on itemized spending?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    "(1) Financial statements prepared in relation to the Funds must show the amounts spent during a financial year in question by each represented political party that received allocations in accordance with these regulations in connection with purposes classifiable under the following descriptive categories: (a) Personnel expenditure; (b) accommodation; (c) travel expenses; (d) arrangement of meetings and rallies; (e) administration; (f) promotions and publications; and (g) legal expenses incurred in the public interest."

    Paragraph 11, Schedule 2 of Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), 2018.

55. Which institution(s) receives financial reports from political parties and/or candidates?
  • CodeEMB
  • Comment

    The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC).

  • Source
56. Which institution(s) is responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations?
  • CodeYes, EMB | Yes, auditing agency
  • Comment

    The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) and the Auditor General.

  • Source

    Article 22, Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), 2018.

57. What power is granted to the institution(s) responsible for examining reports and/or investigating violations?
  • CodeRefer for investigation | Request additional information from potential violator | Request additional information from others | Impose sanctions
  • Comment
  • Source
58. What sanctions are provided for political finance infractions?
  • CodeFines | Prison | Forfeiture | Loss of public funding
  • Comment
  • Source

    Articles 15-20, Political Party Funding Act (PPFA), 2018.

Disclaimer: Maps presented do not imply on the part of the Institute any judgement on the legal status of any territory or the endorsement of such boundaries, nor does the placement or size of any country or territory reflect the political view of International IDEA. Maps are used in order to add visual clarity to data.