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JOINT RULES COMMITTEE
2 September 1998
JOINT SUB COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC FUNDING FOR REPRESENTED POLITICAL PARTIES: DISCUSSION
All the parties had handed in their submissions and their suggestions fell into 4 brackets, which are:
Those supporting a 50/50 split i.e. 50% equity and 50% proportionality
Those wanting 10/90 split
Those wanting 25/75 split
Those wanting 30/70 split.
The parties then had to make brief presentations in support of their formulas.
1. Those supporting a 50/50 Split
The PAC said all parties have basic needs and that the first 50% will meet these needs and the other 50% will be divided proportionately according to the seats the parties have in parliament. They said it is fair that the majority party receive the most from the proportional split, but that the majority party is also in government and has access to resources other parties do not have.
The ACDP supported the PAC. It said in Sweden the law recognises that the party in government has access to government resources and that those parties outside do not. Therefore funding should be weighted more to the equity side.
2. Those supporting a 10/90 Split
The ANC said that the political system in South Africa is a proportional system and it therefore wants the funding to be weighted to the proportional side. It said the 10% is sufficient to cover the equity requirement for parties.
The NP supported the ANC view and said proportionality underlines South Africa’s political system and thus the funding should be weighted more to the proportionality side. It said it does not serve equity to give too much money to small parties.
3. Those supporting 25/75 split
The DP argued that constitutional provisions bound this committee, and it was not just about how the parties view matters. The DP quoted section 236 which says: "to enhance multi party democracy funding must be give to parties in the national and provincial legislatures on an equitable and proportional basis". It said the criteria is to enhance multi party democracy and it does not believe this happens when large parties are made even larger through public funding. The DP said equity requires that minority parties should gain from public funding. It said it wanted 25/75 split with a capping of 50% such that no party gets more than 50%.
4. Those supporting 30/70 split
The IFP said that the constitution stressed equity and then proportionality, it said small parties should be allowed to grow in order to challenge the majority party or parties, and that proportionality should not be used to disadvantage smaller parties.
It said the funding should be allocated on the votes that the parties got in the last election and not the representatives they have in parliament, it said provincial legislatures do not represent the same population sizes and funding must take this into consideration.
The parties did not find the manner of how the payments were to be made contentious, almost all of them agreed that they should be made twice a year. There was also agreement with the Department on how the money should be spent, the ANC suggested an extra criterion be for publications and printing.
The committee then took a vote and 14 members voted for the 10/90 split to be sent to the joint rules committee as a recommendation of the subcommittee, with the opposition of the ACDP, DP and PAC noted.
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