Group demands to know party funders

| Pharie Sefali
My Vote Counts protesters picketing outside parliament. Photo by Jonathan Dockney.

On 27 June 2013 protesters, under the campaign My Vote Counts which is run by activist organisation Ndifuna Ukwazi, gathered outside Parliament to demand that political parties disclose the names of their funders.

“We are protesting against secret party funding and calling for electoral reform,” said Zukiswa Vuka, the coordinator of My Vote Counts. “We have called on Parliament including the Chief Whips’ Forum to provide us with a timetable for passing laws to make this possible. We have asked for this for no later than 24 July 2013.”

Axolile Notywala, who is also with the campaign, said the scandals which people hear everyday in the news about corruption are often the result of having no regulations for party funding. “Parties claim that they owe nothing to their donors but they depend on these funds. So they are likely to serve the interests of their donors before the public.”

The protesters also called for electoral reform. A My Vote Counts press statement explains that people do not elect their Members of Parliament to represent them; they are instead chosen by their parties. You cannot vote out an MP that you are unhappy with. Vuka said that some MPs do not relate to the needs of their citizens because they do not share the same background. My Vote Counts is advocating for an electoral system that allows people to elect their MPs and allows people to vote for independent individuals.

Ntomboxolo Makoba from the Democratic Alliance told GroundUp, “The DA supports both electoral reform and transparency in party funding. We have submitted a Bill to Parliament to allow the public to elect their leaders directly.”

We also asked the regional and provincial offices of the ANC for comment but no one responded.

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