A bill that seeks to ban political parties from using public funds for election campaigns is a step closer to becoming law after the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) adopted the proposed legislation at a special sitting on Thursday. Opposition political parties have, over the years, accused the governing ANC of abusing state resources and tax funds to drive its election campaigns, saying this gives the party an unfair advantage. SA is preparing for crucial national polls that are expected to take place sometime in May, and the opposition has urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to sign the bill into law before then. If the Electoral Laws Amendment Bill is enacted by Ramaphosa, it will make the use of public funds for political campaigning illegal, except those allocated to a party in terms of the Public Funding of Represented Political Parties Act. Parties represented in parliament and in the provincial legislatures receive funding from the fiscus in line with the proportion of votes...

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