There are many pitfalls in developing and strengthening the institutions required to sustain democracy. This paper looks are the problem of party funding and suggest ways in which current South African regulations may be strengthened. The analysis starts from the premise that South Africa's young democracy is struggling to come to terms with the problems surrounding party finance. The Public Funding of represented Political Parties Act of 1997 places no restrictions on the raising of funds by parties from private sources, domestic or foreign. Although public funding is provided and parties may raise funds from private donors, with no limits or disclosure requirements on the amounts they can secure, the thorny issue is that the aggressive search for funds may induce politicians to listen more to those who help pay for campaigns than they do to those who vote for them.