Mashaba to launch political party in August, eyes 2021 Joburg mayoral return

Image credit: Facebook/City of Joburg

Former Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has announced that he will launch a new political party in August in readiness for the 2021 local government elections.

In a virtual briefing on Wednesday, Mashaba said the party’s core values will be non-racialism, free-market economy, social justice, electoral reform and rule of law.

The ex-Mayor used to briefing to release the final report of The People’s Dialogue, which he launched in December last year. He claimed the Dialogue elicited over 125,000 substantive submissions from more than 2.4 million engagements from South Africans.

Hint at running for Joburg Mayor

Mashaba said, “My view, and certainly the view arising from the engagements with South Africans, is that people have very little faith in our current political establishment. 

“This is why I believe so strongly in [this] project to establish a new political alternative that can carry forward the hopes and beliefs of the people of our country.”

Mashaba was Mayor of the City of Johannesburg from 2016 until November last year when he resigned. He also resigned his membership of the Democratic Alliance (DA), the party he represented.

In his Twitter engagement on Wednesday, he said he will avail himself as a candidate for Johannesburg Mayor again, but it was up to the people to decide.

Electoral reform

He wrote, “Many have asked if I will be the Jozi Mayoral candidate for our political party. Let me be clear: We will be championing #ElectoralReform so people elect representatives. I will make myself available to be the candidate, but you, the people will decide.

“As we cannot change the Constitution now, we will implement this system within our political party. This will allow our supporters to choose their public representatives. They will then be held accountable by the people.”

The party will not field candidates in all municipalities across South Africa, but will target “strategic” municipalities. If it does well, it would use the same strategy to participate in the 2024 national elections, Mashaba said.

He added, “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 his party will not be called The People’s Dialogue. Instead, he will launch a platform next week to enable his supporters to suggest a name. The People’s Dialogue will remain as a nonprofit organisation and “think-tank” for the party, he added.

“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,” the ex-Mayor said.

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