Herman Mashaba (Picture: City Press)
Johannesburg - Top entrepreneur Herman Mashaba is stepping down as chairperson of the Free Market Foundation (FMF) to join the DA, he announced on Tuesday.
"It is with regret that I must stand down from leading the FMF, but it is important that this proud organisation remains politically impartial in its vital work," Mashaba said in a statement.
Mashaba, who is best known for building the hair care brand Black Like Me, was joining the party as an ordinary card-carrying member.
"I have requested no position in the DA party, but will promote their cause from the grassroots."
Mashaba said he decided to join and give his support and commitment to the DA, as he believed the party delivered better in the Western Cape than other parties delivered in the rest of the country.
"My announcement today [Tuesday] is an endorsement of the principles of non-racialism, a healthy market economy which delivers on jobs, a smaller and more effective government dedicated to a constructive partnership with business and eventually a direct democracy where every politician is held personally accountable for their performance and behaviour."
He said that, 20 years after democracy, the country's unemployment levels were high, the economy was under-performing, the public and private sectors were corrupt and that racism was "the daily language of the ruling party".
The decision to join the party was made before discussions took place in the political process and was not influenced by discussions with individuals in the political process, said Mashaba.
He said he wanted his move to the party to inspire people to take an active interest in the future of the country.
"Our democracy is new and it allows all of us to be players."