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Vol 65 No 6

Published 14th March 2024

South Africa

Parties prepare for the costliest election

Businesses and wealthy individuals are stepping up political donations and their influence on policy

Ahead of the most competitive election ever in South Africa on 29 May, local and foreign political donors are trying to influence the outcome within – and sometimes outside – the rules. With parties paying renting stadiums, bussing in their supporters and giving them gift hampers, even the more modest rallies cost a million rand. It's clear that the donations declared by most of their parties, which we analyse in depth here, are a gross underestimate of the real levels of funding.

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