1. PURPOSE OF BILL
1.1 The purpose of the Promotion of Access to Information Amendment Bill (“Bill”), is to provide for the recordal, preservation and facilitation of access to information on the private funding of political parties and independent candidates. This came about as a result of the Constitutional Court decision in My Vote Counts NPC v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services.1 In that case the Constitutional Court declared the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (Act No. 2 of 2000) (“PAIA”), invalid to the extent of its inconsistency with the Constitution by failing to provide for the recordal, preservation and reasonable disclosure of information on the private funding of political parties and independent candidates.
2. OBJECTIVE OF BILL
2.1 The Bill seeks to amend PAIA to regulate the recordal, preservation and availability of information in respect of private funding to political parties and independent candidates.
2.2 The clause of the Bill gives an obligation to the accounting officer of a political party (which is defined to include an independent candidate), to create and keep records of any money paid or donated by persons or entities to a political party which is more than R100 000; any money lent to the political party; any money paid on behalf of a political party; assets, services or facilities provided to a political party; and any sponsorships provided to a political party. The records must be available on social media platforms on a quarterly basis. Furthermore the clause requires that the records be updated and be made available on social media platforms of the political party concerned two months before the election of the National Assembly or provincial legislature and before municipal elections.