The funding of SA’s still-young democracy is to come into sharp focus this month. The Political Party Funding Act, which tightens the rules around sums of money given to such parties, is now in effect, and the timing could hardly be worse for them.Local government elections on October 27 are expected to be tough — and to run effective campaigns, parties will require financial resources. While parties have had ample time to prepare for the implementation of the legislation, many remain on the back foot. News broke last year of possible retrenchments at the DA’s headquarters and the ANC is set to do the same.While politicians are bemoaning the difficulties they will experience because of the act, it is critical to acknowledge that the implementation of the law will strengthen, safeguard and enrich SA’s democracy.The act compels parties to reveal their donors — those who hand over amounts in excess of R100,000. It also bans foreign funding of parties as well as funding by state-owned e...

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