DA richest party in 2024 election campaign with R65m in donations

Blue party receives biggest share of donations at the height of elections campaign

Sisanda Mbolekwa Politics reporter
The IEC welcomes the declaration of funding, saying it will ease voters regarding party financial backing ahead of the polls. File photo.
The IEC welcomes the declaration of funding, saying it will ease voters regarding party financial backing ahead of the polls. File photo.
Image: Kevin Sutherland

The DA is cash-flush in the election campaign after it declared the lion's share of political party funding in the form of donations, with R65m between January and March 2024. 

The party's coffers were bolstered through 24 transactions including regular donors Martin Moshal, diamond billionaire Jonathan Oppenheimer and his father Nicky Oppenheimer, media and tech firm Naspers and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation.

Nicky Oppenheimer and his son each donated R10m to the DA while it scored a further R10m from an entity named Main Street 1564, with Naspers chipping in with R2m and Moshal “blessing” the blue party with R8m.

The party also received R10m from two entities associated with Patrice Motsepe, African Rainbow Minerals and Harmony Gold.

Roger Jardine's Change Starts Now party came in second highest with R35.8m, despite throwing in the towel in contesting the elections.

Jardine's donations were received from three donors, Fynbos Ekwiteit, Main Street 1564 and the Ball Family Trust.

These parties are among 13 that have abided by the Political Funding Disclosure Act, revealing their funding sources between January 1 to March 31.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) said this was the first time party donations breached the R100m mark in one quarter since the enforcement of the act.

A cumulative amount of R172m in donations was declared. 

“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,” the IEC said.

The IFP declared R20m, received in two donations of R10m from the Oppenheimer father and son duo.

The ANC raked in R16.7m, with two of the party's highest donations valued at R6.9m coming from Motsepe's mining firms African Rainbow Minerals and Harmony Gold.

Rise Mzansi declared R15m from entity known as “We are the people” and R100,000 from Peter Vundla.

ActionSA disclosed donations valued at just over R10.5m.

A total of R9m of the party’s declared donations was received from the party’s regular donor and supporter, Moshal, who made three separate donations of R3m, R2m and R4m during January, February and March.  

The EFF declared R2.6m from Motsepe's mining companies.

Bantu Holomisa's UDM made a total declaration of R2.2m, with R1.5 received from Exxaro Resources and an individual known as Mary Slack.

The Independent South African National Civic Organisation, an unrepresented party, declared just over R1.5m received from Main Street 1564.

Gayton McKenzie's Patriotic Alliance continued to be funded by the party leader in addition to a donation made by an entity referred to as E Botha and Y Erasmus Inc.

The Freedom Front Plus made a total declaration of R769,000 from Motsepe's companies and businessman Robert Hersov.

Unrepresented political party Able Leadership vying for electoral support in the upcoming polls nationally and in Limpopo and Mpumalanga received R360,000 from an entity called Madzahisi Trading Enterprise.

Vuyo Zungula's African Transformation Movement made a total donation declaration of R120,000 from an individual called Caesar Nongqunga.

The commission applauded corporates, individuals and political parties that disclosed donations.

“It places the voter in the know regarding those behind the financial backing campaigns that are under way. This transparency and openness can only serve to enrich the choices of voters as they make their way to voting station.”

The IEC criticised political parties for noncompliance and failing to disclose the source of their income.

TimesLIVE

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