Action SA leader Herman Mashaba on Thursday announced he would run as a mayoral candidate for the city of Johannesburg in the 2021 local government elections.
Mashaba, a former DA mayor of Johannesburg, made the announcement at a press briefing.
He was the city’s mayor for three years under the DA’s coalition government with the EFF.
Mashaba left the DA in October 2019 after the re-election of Helen Zille as chairperson of the party’s federal council.
He launched Action SA in August 2020 which initially began as The Peoples Dialogue, a movement that canvassed the views of South Africans on the future of the country.
‘Ready to work with Joburg residents’
Mashaba said he had been under “tremendous pressure” to run as a candidate from some residents of Joburg.
“The work of rebuilding our nation starts with local government elections and getting Johannesburg, the heartbeat of this beautiful country, back on track,” he said.
“I’m ready to work with every resident to get our Johannesburg working. Truth be told, when I left as mayor a little over two years ago I was disappointed that I was unable to complete the mission I’d set out. Certainly not under the party I then worked with.”
He said the people of Johannesburg remained close to his heart and they were the reason he began his political party.
I’m asking you the residents of Johannesburg to once again afford me the honour and privilege to serve you and complete the work we began in 2016.
Mashaba said the multiparty government made many strides when he was the city’s mayor, but much remained to be done.
“Much of the progress made by the multiparty government, which I led, has been reversed by the present administration. Residents have suffered a decline in key services needed to lead dignified and fulfilled lives.”
Mashaba said Action SA would not contest all of the country’s more than 200 municipalities. The party would rather contest elections in Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg and Tshwane as well as in eThekwini.
‘We’re working hard to get outright majority’
Mashaba also said they would work with other parties with the exception of the ANC. He said his party’s main priority was to remove the ANC from power.
He did not rule out the possibility of working with the DA and described the ANC as a “dying party with rural support”.
“We are working hard to get an outright majority, but ultimately we are not the ones to really decide. In the event that we are put into a coalition, we are prepared to work with all the other parties with the exception of the ANC.
“Under no circumstances will Action SA work with the ANC, but we will work with other parties,” Mashaba said.
What I can promise the people of South Africa is that Action SA will be ready to contest national and provincial elections in 2024.
The local government elections are expected to take place on 27 October 2021.
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