Some unlikely corporate donors have stumped up to help fund South Africa’s cash-strapped political parties, disclosures released by the Electoral Commission of South Africa show.
Harmony Gold Mining Co. gave R1.1 million to the Economic Freedom Fighters, which advocates the nationalisation of all mines and land. The nation’s top producer of the metal by volume also gave R5.8 million to the ruling African National Congress, R2.1 million to the main opposition Democratic Alliance and a total of R586,013 to two smaller parties in the final quarter of last year.
African Rainbow Minerals Ltd., which is chaired by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s billionaire brother-in-law Patrice Motsepe, gave a total of R3.6 million to three of the biggest opposition parties, including R1.1 million to the EFF. The company made no further donations to the ANC after giving it R5.9 million in the prior quarter.
The ruling party, which has been battling to pay its staff, secured most donations over the period — R22.8 million. That included R15 million from the Batho Batho Trust, which owns a controlling state in investment company Thebe Investment Corp., and R1 million from Naspers Ltd., Africa’s largest media company.
The DA garnered a total of R12.5 million and the EFF R3.1 million, while ActionSA, a party founded last year by former Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba, got R5.1 million.