Information on the private funding that political parties receive is vital for voters in exercising their right to vote, the Constitutional Court has found. A year before the crucial 2019 national elections Parliament has now been ordered by the top court to amend the Promotion of Access to Information Act (Paia) and take any other measure to provide for the preservation and facilitation of reasonable access to information on the private funding of parties and independent candidates. It has 18 months to do so. The court ruled that this information was essential for the effective exercise of the right to make political choices and to participate in elections.

Lawson Naidoo from the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution said the onus rested on political parties to come forward and declare their funders pro-actively, as a principle had now been established by the court. Sheilan Clarke, spokeswoman for My Vote Counts, who was the applicant in the matter, sa...

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