More than R1-billion in private donations may have been given to political parties before the last election – and the South African public has absolutely no idea where this money came from, or where it went.
Advocacy campaign Right2Know’s “conservative estimate” is that political parties could be receiving R5 in secret private donations for every R1 of public funds they get.
Many of the JSE’s top 40 listed companies officially report a policy of “political neutrality”. Companies like Vodacom, FirstRand, MTN and Shoprite have told researchers that they don’t make any donations to political parties. As the Human Sciences Research Council’s Gary Pienaar told Parliament on Tuesday, however, this could be because some companies are giving money in the name of individual directors – though Pienaar noted that this would be “highly irregular” in the case of publically listed companies.
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