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Anthony Butler Examines the Complex Relationship Between Money and Politics in South Africa

The Idea of the ANCAnthony Butler, author of The Idea of the ANC, has written about the complex relationship between money and politics in South Africa for Business Day. The recent incident between Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille and a donor who worked for a Gupta-owned company highlighted the connection between money and politics.

Butler writes about how “resources of one kind or another will become key instruments in the battle for voters”. ANC leader and President Jacob Zuma has “recently observed that companies that openly align themselves with the ANC tend to flourish” while Zille warns that transparency is problematic mostly for the opposition as the ANC may not react favourably to companies that are donating to other parties.

The falling out between Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille and the proprietors of The New Age newspaper has shone fresh light on the relationships between money and politics in South Africa. As the electoral vulnerability of the African National Congress (ANC) grows, resources of one kind or another will become key instruments in the battle for voters.

Party funding proposals on their way to the Cabinet will recommend bumping up public funding to all parties. They will probably, however, centre on the idea of “transparency” with which liberals have been self-destructively besotted.

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