New kids on the block, ActionSA, who are set to contest their first election should this year’s local government elections go ahead, have announced former Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba, former Tshwane acting mayor Abel Tau and former Ekurhuleni official, Letlhogonolo Moseki as mayoral candidates for the metros of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni respectively.
During a virtual media briefing held on Wednesday, the party announced that Mashaba, who is also ActionSA’s president, beat off Suraya Holt and 30-year-old Lincoln Machaba, a former councillor in the City of Joburg, who were also vying for the City of Johannesburg mayoral candidate spot.
Last month, ActionSA revealed nine candidates who would be battling it out in their candidate elections in order to represent the party as aspirant mayors for the three metros in the looming local government elections.
Residents of the three metros voted both virtually and through physical ballots for the candidates of their choice.
According to ActionSA, “residents came out in their numbers to support” the mayoral candidates, with Mashaba “capturing 94% of the vote in Johannesburg”.
After his announcement as candidate, Mashaba said: “Gauteng’s metros must become hubs for innovation and beacons of service delivery for the rest of South Africa; residents deserve nothing less.”
He took the opportunity to thank “those who participated in the historic ActionSA candidate elections” for placing their faith in him as a mayoral candidate for Johannesburg.
“When I was elected the executive mayor of the City of Johannesburg in August 2016, the city was a mess. The so-called World Class African City was, to many of its residents, a world-class slum. From my first day in office, turning Johannesburg into a city that its residents could be proud to call home was the focus of my three years,” said Mashaba.
• Reviving the stalled inner-city revitalisation mega project by working with the private sector and civil society to create shared value that incentivises investment, creates job opportunities and provides inclusive affordable housing for residents;
• Once again declaring corruption public enemy number one:
• Restore #OperationBuyaMthetho and making Johannesburg unsafe for criminals;
• Streamlining the city’s bloated structure to ensure that we can improve service delivery by ensuring the city’s organisational structure is responsive to the needs of residents; and
• Rebuilding a competent, professional and accountable public service committed to service with pride.
The experienced Tau, a former regional chairperson of the DA in Tshwane, who joined ActionSA last year, managed to beat off Morris Mahlaule, a consummate business professional; and Mmaphefo Shubane; who has a background in community broadcasting.
Tau said his main priority would be “improving the lives of residents through overhauling the metro’s ailing service delivery”.
“Residents are gatvol of ‘ghost mayor’ Cllr Randall Williams’ absentee leadership and the colossal service delivery failures. Under Williams, Tshwane has lurched from crisis to crisis, the latest being widespread water shortages in the city.
“Since 2016, residents have not enjoyed stable and effective governance. The DA has parachuted two mayors into the city, both of whom were mired in scandals and an inability to deliver services. The ANC was no better – too busy with petty politicking tactics instead of ensuring service delivery. Once in office, ActionSA will work to rebuild residents’ faith in local government by working to get the basics of service delivery right in every one of our communities,” said a passionate Tau.
• Improving visible service delivery by capacitating front line departments with resources to address service complaints;
• Increasing visible policing, particularly in poor communities, so that all residents finally feel, and are, safe;
• Increasing expenditure on the maintenance and upgrading of basic infrastructure to end prolonged water and power outages in Tshwane;
• Implementing a multipronged approach to the provision of housing to fight growing housing challenges in the city;
• Getting the City of Tshwane out of bankruptcy and back to financial health through improved financial controls.
In Ekurhuleni, communications expert with government experience Letlhogonolo Moseki defeated Eleanor Moropa, a social development practitioner; and Lerato Ngobeni, current ActionSA national spokesperson and member of the Senate.
As Ekurhuleni’s mayoral candidate, Moseki said he was determined to create an environment in which businesses and entrepreneurs could, once again, generate much-needed jobs for residents.
“Once, Ekurhuleni was Gauteng’s industrial hub and our people had the dignity of work. The ANC, through poor governance, strangled our local economy. I am ready to engage with every one of our communities in Ekurhuleni to help me make sure that, on election day, we can vote the ANC out and start implementing a plan for improving the lives of Ekurhuleni residents.”
To kick-start a recovery for Ekurhuleni, Moseki would prioritise:
• Creating an environment for jobs within the city by cutting red-tape and making it easier to open manufacturing businesses there;
• Rolling out entrepreneurship and opportunity centres, targeting young people and providing business support to residents;
• Increasing the roll-out of social development services to the poorest of residents; and
• creating a cleaner and safer city by expanding the capacity of proper waste management services.
The party promises that “these are just the first changes that ActionSA-led governments would prioritise to ensure service delivery to residents across Gauteng”.
“Our people have made it clear that they are gatvol with corruption, poor governance and nonexistent service delivery. They demand immediate change. For this to happen, every resident in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni must take action by voting the ANC out in the upcoming local government elections.”
ActionSA praised its candidate elections, saying it was “for the first time in South Africa’s history that residents were given the power to choose who would represent” a political formation on the ballot paper in any local government elections.
“This is a far cry from other parties who impose their preferred corrupt and incompetent political leaders on communities,” announced the party.
The mayoral candidates were joined by successful ward candidates elected by the residents of their communities, attracting a total of 22 051 votes from communities across Gauteng.
Mashaba said the party’s list to be submitted to the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) included 116 candidate representatives – young people eager to serve their communities, with the youngest being 18 years old, Chinedu Edward.
“Our list also consists of former members of Parliament, former MMCs, entrepreneurs, legal professionals, law enforcement professionals – such as former Johannesburg police chief David Tembe – and career civil servants, such as Michael Tshishonga who, at 73 years old, wants to step out of retirement and fight for his community’s needs,” said Mashaba.
However, the party will have to wait for the IEC to announce whether elections will proceed as planned in October, or be postponed as per the recommendation by retired Judge Dikgang Moseneke.