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How to fund democracy

On the 8th of May 2024, Daryl Swanepoel, the CEO of the Inclusive Society Institute, spoke at an event hosted by the non-profit organization My Vote Counts. The event, titled "Democracy: Creating Accountable and Transparent Politics," brought together influential figures from across South African civil society to engage in a critical dialogue about the role of political funding in the country's electoral process. Swanepoel shed light on the pressing issues surrounding transparency and accountability in South African politics, drawing on his extensive expertise and experience in navigating the complex web of political financing.


With a keen understanding of the challenges facing South African democracy, Swanepoel delved into the importance of establishing robust systems that ensure the integrity of the electoral system. He highlighted the need for stricter regulations and enhanced disclosure requirements, emphasizing that the public deserves to know the sources and allocation of funds that shape the political landscape. Swanepoel underscored the critical linkage between transparent political financing and the fundamental principles of a healthy democracy, where citizens can make informed decisions and hold their representatives accountable.


He also emphasized the need for sufficient public funding, saying that international best practice shows that where there are high disclosure requirements, there tend to be higher public funding, and where there are lower disclosure requirements, there tend to be lower public funding. In South Africa, disclosure requirements were mad stricter, without concomitantly increasing public funding.

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