Former Joburg Mayor and DA member Herman Mashaba plans to launch a political party in August.
Mashaba said the exact launch date for the party were not set due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the party plans to launch and context next year’s local government elections.
The former mayor had resigned from his position last year and also left the DA. He cited the lack of alignment with the DA’s policies as the reason for his departure.
When he left, he immediately started talks of possibly launching a political party. He embarked on engaging South Africans that were looking for an alternative political home. These engagements were called The People’s Dialogue. On Wednesday he released a report based on submissions received from some South Africans. He said his party was aimed at unseating the ANC and proving an alternative political home.
Mashaba said his engagements with citizens on various topics of interest had produced over 125 000 submissions. The submissions deal with overhauling issues on education, corruption, and service delivery.
Mashaba said his party would launch soon and that it would contest elections due to be held next year. He said the party would not attempt to contest for seats at every municipality. But the party would choose key strategic areas that it would contest and three of those municipalities were in Gauteng – Ekurhuleni, Joburg and Tshwane. He said those three metros were battleground areas because the ANC governs, Joburg and Ekurhuleni, with a vulnerable percentage.
Meanwhile Tshwane was governed by a DA-led coalition, whose power appeared to have dwindled in the past year.
“People often ask me, how is this new party going to be different from the parties that have come before us like Agang? I can share that we will not be contesting all municipalities in South Africa. This is the mistake that many new political parties make. They have contested all 278 municipalities, as new parties with only months to prepare for elections, with the unambitious outcome of gaining a Councillor here and there. This is why they have failed.
“Our political party will identify municipalities that are strategic in nature and where we will win. We will govern in these municipalities, and we will demonstrate value by improving the lives of the people who live there,” Mashaba said.
He said if the party does well during the local government elections, it would use the strategy to campaign for national elections in 2024.
The party will also focus on the percentage of voters that did not vote in the previous cycle of the elections.
“It is clear that we will be receiving a lot of support from the many disillusioned supporters of current political parties, and we welcome them with open arms. But, our focus will be on the almost 19 million South Africans of voting-age who did not vote in 2019, outnumbering those who did vote.
“These South Africans are not apathetic. They live in the same country as the rest of us that is in deep need of change and the they care about their country. They have just not been given a reason to vote, some for a very long time,” he said.