ABSA’s party political donations policy wrong

Dr Pieter Mulder

“The private sector is increasingly playing into the hands of the ANC by stopping their donations to political parties. It is the type of policy which leads to a one-party domination to become a permanent phenomenon,” Dr. Pieter Mulder, the FF Plus Leader said.

Dr. Mulder was reacting to the decision of ABSA to no longer give donations to some political parties. According to him, research has shown that the majority of the FF Plus' supporters are ABSA clients whose money is now being given to other political parties and institutions.

Such a decision favours the ANC in that the ANC is already getting the largest portion of government funding. ABSA’s money which to a certain extent had buffered opposition parties falls away now.

The Public Funding Act, 103 of 1997, determines that 90% of taxpayer’s money is divided proportionally between parties. This provision divides the money totally different to similar legislation in other countries. This has led to the ANC receiving R252 million more in the past four years than the R4 million which the FF Plus had received.

Democracy presupposes that all parties have to compete with each other on an equal footing in an election. The deposit to participate nationally in this year’s election, is more than R600 000. It is the same for all parties. Media advertisements, posters and all election material cost the same for all political parties. Due to the unfair favouritism of the ANC from state funds and because private companies are increasingly withdrawing their support from politics, elections are becoming financially unfair and one-sided.

The FF Plus has called on ABSA to review their donations policy. To favour certain parties above others are unacceptable. ABSA was one of the sponsors during the ANC’s Mangaung conference. The ANC makes several thousand of rand every year by making stalls available every year during their policy conferences. ABSA has consistently participated in buying a stall. This practice is strengthening the perception that ABSA is only favouring the ANC and disadvantaging other parties at the moment when opinion polls are indicating that the ANC is in trouble.


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