The Democratic Alliance, South Africa’s main opposition party, secured more large donations than the ruling African National Congress and its other rivals in the lead-up to this year’s national elections, bolstering its campaign.
The DA raised R161.6 million between 1 April 2021 and 30 September last year, while the ANC collected R130.4 million, according to Bloomberg calculations based on their quarterly disclosures to the Electoral Commission of South Africa.
Action SA, founded in 2021 by former Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba, garnered R67.4 million and the populist Economic Freedom Fighters R3.5 million.
The data doesn’t present a full picture of the parties’ financial positions because disclosure rules that came into effect in 2021 only require them to disclose individual donations of more than R100,000.
They also raise money from membership fees, and those who have seats in parliament are given an annual allocation from the taxpayer-funded Represented Political Parties Fund.
The elections must be held within the next seven months, though a date has yet to be announced. Several opinion polls show the ANC risks losing its national majority for the first time since the end of White-minority rule in 1994.