RISE Mzansi declares Oppenheimer funding

BRIDGET Oppenheimer, centre). | Supplied

BRIDGET Oppenheimer, centre). | Supplied

Published Feb 18, 2024


Recently established political party, RISE Mzansi has declared that it has received more than R17 million in funding following its registration last year.

The bulk of funds come from the Oppenheimer family, with more than R15m coming from Rebecca Oppenheimer.

On Saturday, the party disclosed its funding as part of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)’s Political Funding Act.

The party’s chief organiser, Makashule Gana, in a statement said this is part of deepening democracy and transparency.

“Today RISE Mzansi discloses the donors who have made contributions at the level that must be submitted and declared to the IEC as per the Political Party Funding Act. Political change and deepening democratic participation require significant resources,” Gana said.

RISE Mzansi is not the only political newbie to be funded by the Oppenheimer family, with ActionSA also having in the past becoming one of the parties said to be funded by the wealthy family with wide political affiliations.

In 2021, ActionSA made headlines after it was revealed that it was funded by three members of the Oppenheimer family, including Rebecca, Victoria Freudenheim and Jessica Slack, who are the granddaughters of Harry and Bridget Oppenheimer and daughters of Mary Slack.

The family donated a total of nearly R10m to ActionSA.

Gana added that the party was unlike other political parties in Parliament who receive taxpayer funding ‒ new political parties rely on their private citizens to fund their political activities.

“Unlike established political parties represented in Parliament and Provincial Legislatures, new political parties such as RISE Mzansi do not get taxpayer funding. It is private citizens who are committed to democracy that enable us to do the work we do,” said Gana.

Even though there have been protestations from concerned South Africans who frown upon realising that the party was funded by the Oppenheimers, Gana indicated that the party does not accept funds from just anyone, including foreign entities and governments.

“That said, we do not accept funds from just anyone, foreign entities or foreign governments. We also do not accept donations where we suspect the funds may be the proceeds of crime; or where prospective donors want to unduly influence our policies, politics and decision-making processes.

“All our existing donors support us because they believe in our commitment to build a safe, prosperous, equal and united country where people live in happiness and dignity in one generation. They also accept the conditions set out above,” he said.

The party also received R1m in donations from Main Street 1564 (Pty) Ltd, as well as other in kind donations from Kairos Communications (Pty) Ltd and InJozi Design Cc.

The Star

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