COSATU welcomes the Parliament’s passage of the Electoral Matters Amendment Bill

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) welcomes the National Council of Provinces’ passage of the Electoral Matters Amendment Bill.

Whilst COSATU welcomes the overall thrust of the Bill, including its amendments recognising independent candidates contesting national and provincial elections as necessitated by the Constitutional Court judgement, we believe one critical amendment is needed and should be prioritised and considered by the 7th Parliament.

The Bill provides for the President, in consultation with Parliament, to set thresholds below which donations to political parties and independent candidates need not be disclosed as well as caps on the limits of donations they can receive. 

Whilst accepting the need for flexibility on caps on donations, the provisions for thresholds below which donations need not be disclosed opens a massive and obvious gap for tenderpreneurs and other persons with criminal intent seeking to buy influence, to legally circumvent the progressive transparency and accountability objectives and provisions of the Act.  This is reckless and dangerous given our painful experiences with state capture. 

The thresholds below which donations need not be disclosed should be amended to require that all donations be publicly disclosed.  This is critical if we are to remove the cancer of corruption from our body politic.  Workers and the nation at large cannot afford the costs of corruption remaining ingrained across our political establishment and government.

The Federation supports the Bill’s clauses providing for the principles of proportionality and the recognition that access to public funding and the public broadcaster by political parties and independent candidates must be based upon the support they receive from the electorate and the representation they are afforded in Parliament and Provincial Legislatures. 

Issued by COSATU.

For further comment please contact:

Matthew Parks

Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator

Cell: 082 785 0687


6th Floor, Constitution House,

124 Adderley Street,

Cape Town 8000, South Africa