South Africa

Political parties declare record R172 million – These are their biggest donors

Political party funding

With just two weeks before South Africans take to the polls on 29 May, the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has revealed who their biggest donors are.

The IEC released the party funding for the fourth quarter of the 2023/24 financial year.

The report covers the donations made between 1 January and 31 March 2024.

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According to the IEC, the declared value of donations surpassed the R100 million mark for the first time since the inception of the Party Funding Act.

Parties declared a total of R172 million during this quarter.

“This amount is both higher than all of the quarters previously reported on and the combined quarterly disclosures reported during each of the previous financial years,” said the IEC.

“A message from the disclosed total amount is that the rate, extent and the results of political campaign finance activities for the 2024 elections have demonstrably reached levels never seen before.”

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Thirteen political parties made private donation declarations during this quarter.

These were the parties with the highest donations and their biggest donors

ActionSA

Of the R10.5 million that ActionSA declared in this quarter, R9 million was donated by a single individual Martin Moshal. According to the IEC, Moshal made three donations of R3 million, R2 million and R4 million in January, February and March 2024.

ANC

The ANC declared R16.7 million and its main donors during this quarter were companies associated with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s brother-in-law and mining magnate Patrice Motsepe.

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African Rainbow Mineral Limited and Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited donated R6.9 million each.
Naspers Limited also donated R2 million in this quarter.

Change Starts Now

Change Startes Now, which made headlines during its formation, but is now unrepresented, declared R35.5 million. The party only had three donors – Fynbos Ekwiteit (R15 million), Main Street 1564 (R15 million) and the Ball Family Trust (R5.8 million).

Unfortunately, the party will not be contesting the upcoming elections.

Democratic Alliance

The DA declared the highest of all donations and is the party with the highest number of donors during this quarter.

Main Street 1564, which also donated to Change Starts Now, donated R10 million to the party. Jonathan Maximillan Oppenheimer and his father donated R10 million each.

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Martin Moshal, who made the highest donation to ActionSA, donated R8 million to the DA.
The same entities linked to Patrice Motsepe donated R2.5 million each, along with Naspers, which donated R2 million. Most of the DA’s donations were in monetary terms.

EFF

The two entities linked to Patrice Motsepe also made equal donations of R1.3 million. These were the only donations declared by the red berets.

Rise Mzansi

The new kid on the block managed to attract more support than the IFP, PA and EFF (as per declarations). The party managed to raise R15.1 million from two donors. A voluntary organisation named We Are the People donated R15 million, while Peter Vundla donated R100,000.