'Its time for action' - Herman Mashaba to launch new political party

2020-03-05 12:16
Former Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba.

Former Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba. (Thulani Mbele, Gallo Images, Sowetan)

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Former Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba says the engagement around The People's Dialogue came to an end last month, and that it is now time to start the work of building a new political party. 

"This will be a party that gives a voice to the voiceless and builds a real and credible alternative to the ANC. A party aimed at restoring faith in our democracy in the almost 19 million eligible voters who did not vote in 2019," Mashaba said in a statement on Thursday.

The former mayor launched The People's Dialogue on 6 December 2019 shortly after resigning from the DA, and subsequently as the executive mayor of the City of Johannesburg.

This happened hours after the election of former leader Helen Zille as the new DA federal council chairperson, News24 reported.

READ | Herman Mashaba: Race has no place in the corruption debate

Mashaba has spent the past three months engaging citizens on the solutions to the challenges confronting the country, but now he says the time for talking has come to an end.

"I am deeply touched by the level of patriotism, good will and belief in a better future that has been evident from the engagements to date. 

"However, like so many people have indicated, the time for talk must come to an end so that we can build the alternative that can unseat the ANC and deliver the kind of South Africa that has been so passionately spoken about. A South Africa where there is opportunity for all and where the inequalities of our unjust past have been dealt with," he said.

Mashaba is expected to convene an event on 24 March, where he will present the feedback from his engagements with South Africans.

ALSO READ | Herman Mashaba to seek private prosecutions for corruption, urges SA to join his fight

"At this event, I will have experts from across various walks of life engaging the feedback from the dialogue in a panel discussion. I will also use this platform to demonstrate how the feedback from South Africans will inform the new political party that is to be established," he said.

From the various engagements, The People's Dialogue says it has found that:

  • South Africans want businesses and entrepreneurs to succeed in a just economy, where the private sector is supported by government, but not dominated by it;
  • South Africans want a non-racial future for their country, but recognise this can only be achieved through a universal recognition of racial inequality, and a concerted government programme aimed at addressing the legacy of our apartheid-past;
  • South Africans want the rule of law, effective policing and our corrupt politicians to face justice for stealing from the people. This includes stronger border controls and effective management of illegal immigration;
  • South Africans are fed with their political system, recognise that it does not serve their interests and want a system where they hold politicians directly accountable and not through political parties. 

It is on this basis, that Mashaba says he will work with "the best and most dedicated South Africans to set up the new political party".

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