Governance and Institutions




On the 8th of May South Africans headed to the polls for the 6th time since 1994. Against the backdrop of high unemployment, loadshedding, severe water shortages across the country and daily testimonies narrating how officials, political leaders and business persons hijacked state institutions and finances for personal benefit, a record number of parties contested the elections. While President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised a ‘new dawn’ and ‘self-correction’, the ANC is facing a political landscape that is more competitive, and an electorate that is less likely to turn out.

The Private Funding of Political Parties: What Do We Know?

Partner Publication

The negative impact of unregulated private funding of political parties in South Africa stretches back to the period prior to the inception of democracy in 1994.  Although on the 23rd of January 2019 President Ramaphosa signed into law the Political Party Funding Act (The Act) that provides for the regular and systematic disclosure of the sources and amounts of private funding allocated to political parties, South Africa's Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) decided to postpone its implementation until after the May elections. In the absence of an effective party funding transparency disclosure regime that enables an informed vote, this research compiled by My Vote Counts (MVC) collates historical and publicly available information on the private funding of political parties through donations and/or other financial transfers.

How Does Eshowe Experience our Democracy Ahead of the Elections?

Partner Analysis

While most political parties are now focusing on the big cities, what do the elections look like from a rural perspective? My Vote Counts spoke to a resident of Eshowe in KwaZulu Natal to hear from him how the Eshowe community experiences South Africa's democracy, if they feel included at all and what they think about elections.

Intra-party Democracy: How Democratic Are South Africa's Political Parties?

Partner Publication

South Africa is one of the many modern constitutional democracies where the internal organisation of political parties is not regulated according to internal party democracy or intra-party democracy (IPD) provisions. Consequently, over centralisation and the abuse of power within the country's political parties is a systemic problem, and one which has significant ramifications for democracy both during elections, as well as between them. This original research by My Vote Counts (MVC) sheds light on parties' processes and policies and aims to inform future decision making on the subject.

By My Vote Counts