An Electoral Commission of SA worker tears a ballot paper at a voting station during local municipal elections. Picture: EPA/KEVIN SUTHERLAND
An Electoral Commission of SA worker tears a ballot paper at a voting station during local municipal elections. Picture: EPA/KEVIN SUTHERLAND

The Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) has appointed George Mahlangu as its CE for party funding.

Private funding of political parties has been in the spotlight, especially after disclosures at the state capture inquiry earlier in 2019 about how companies such as Bosasa bribed politically connected individuals and the governing party.

In January, President Cyril Ramaphosa signed into law the Political Party Funding Act, but it did not affect the 2019 elections.

The law seeks to provide guidelines and new regulations on the funding of political parties. It also includes, among other measures, a ban on donations from foreign sources and a requirement for parties to disclose all donations above a certain threshold.

The IEC on Thursday said the appointment was a critical step in the process of implementing the act.

The CE responsible for party funding will oversee the management of the represented political parties’ fund, the establishment of a new multiparty democracy fund and the implementation of a disclosure framework through which political parties and donors had disclosed donations above a threshold to the IEC.

The IEC said Mahlangu was a seasoned financial expert who had served as a CFO in private and public sectors for many years. 

He previously served as the CFO for the Gauteng department of health, the department of local government and was the CFO for the National Youth Commission. 

Mahlangu joins the IEC from the private sector where he was recently the CFO of a transport company.

He has LLB and BCompt (honours) degrees, which the IEC said would provide him with the ideal blend of legal and financial knowledge.

Mahlangu will operate at the level of a deputy chief electoral officer at the commission and report directly to chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo.

The IEC said it would be holding public hearings in Cape Town over two days into the draft regulations for party funding. 

The hearings follow the publication of draft regulations for comment between March 1 2019 and 21 2019 during which more than 4,300 written submissions were received.

quintalg@businesslive.co.za