This is who bankrolled R330 million for political parties in South Africa: DA vs ANC vs EFF and more

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In the lead-up to the national and provincial elections on May 29th, 2024, political parties have received donations totalling at least R335.5 million for their campaigning efforts for the 2023/24 financial year, according to donation declarations to the Electoral Commission (IEC).

This is partly thanks to hefty financial contributions from various successful families, businesspeople and companies in South Africa.


How much did these parties receive?

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is far ahead in the race for declared donations, having reported receiving roughly R127 million in the past year.

The African National Congress (ANC) and ActionSA take second and third place, reporting around R47 million and R40 million, respectively, for the 2023/24 financial year.

Parties including Change Starts Now (which is no longer competing in the elections), Rise Mzansi, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), Patriotic Alliance (PA), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), United Democratic Movement (UDM) and the Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa (ISANCO) also boasted impressive donor pulls, each amounting to millions of rands for the parties’ purses.

Other political parties which declared sizeable donations, but do not amount to the million rand mark are the Vryheidsfront Plus (VF Plus), the African Transformation Movement (ATM), and Able Leadership.

It is important to note that the Political Party Funding Act, which came into effect in 2019, requires political parties to disclose donations accumulating to over R100,000 to the IEC.

Additionally, it mandates that private donations to political parties be made transparently and prohibits certain entities, such as foreign governments and state-owned enterprises, from making donations, as well as limits donations from a single donor to R15 million a year.

This figure of donations is expected to be higher given that many donations do not require declarations, and according to civil advocacy group Corruption Watch, some “parties simply circumnavigate public disclosure by telling supporters to donate under R100 000,” or fragment contributions into smaller amounts that fall below the threshold requiring disclosure.


Who are some of the biggest donors?

Looking at just some of the biggest funders over 2023/24, many of these financed several parties throughout the year.

Members of the Oppenheimer family (including Nicky, Jonathan and Rebecca Oppenheimer, as well as Mary Slack) donated a combined R71 million to the DA, Rise Mzansi, the IFP and UDM.

One of the country’s biggest individual donors, billionaire Martin Moshal, donated often thoroughout the year to the DA, ActionSA and BOSA, amounting to R27 million

Harmony Gold Mining and African Rainbow Minerals, linked to billionaire Patrice Motsepe, are notable donors, each contributing R11.04 million to multiple parties, including the ANC (receiving the most funds from them), DA, EFF and VF Plus.

Main Street Holdings, and Fynbos Ekweteit as well as Kapitaal were corporations which threw several millions towards various parties.

Main Steer Holdings donated a total of R32,599,000 to the DA, Change Starts Now (which is now longer participating in the elections), and ISANCO.

Fynbos Ekweteit (R30 million) and Fynbos Kapitaal (R15 million) donated considerable amounts to the DA and Change Starts Now.

The Batho Batho and Chancellor House Trusts remained heavy hitting donors of the ANC, each donating R15 million, while the Gap Infrastructure Corporation were big backers of the DA, contributing R10.1 million.

The full list of donors can be accessed on this page.


Read: The people who want to be president of South Africa

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