Former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane and the party’s former mayor in the City of Johannesburg will launch The People’s Dialogue, a platform where they will engage with South Africans in a “positive, solutions-oriented discussion” addressing the country’s numerous challenges.
The pair recently resigned from the DA.
In a statement on Wednesday, Maimane said the platform will be free from “the constraints of our political system”.
“The events of the past two weeks in the metros, and the return of continuous load shedding demonstrate the need for a new consensus. Clearly, we need a new vision for a tomorrow for all our children, shared by all the residents of our country,” Maimane said in the statement.
Watch Maimane’s launch video:
Maimane said the country’s political system had clearly “failed” South Africans “and that accountability exists only to political parties and not to the people of our country”.
“The continued collapse of state-owned enterprises such as [South African Airways], as well as the return of load shedding, clearly demonstrates how the time for residents to sit back and leave the solutions to our greatest challenges in the hands of government has passed,” Maimane said.
He said the country needed “reforms and solutions that can help resolve” the country’s “greatest challenges of unemployment, crime and injustice”.
“It is now more critical than ever before [that] we resolve these challenges and ensure that citizens can participate in [a] shared vision for all of South Africa’s people,” the statement reads.
Maimane said looking at the unity created by the victory of the Springboks at this year’s Rugby World Cup and Zozibini Tunzi being crowned Miss Universe this week showed that when South Africans worked together, they could “achieve better results”.
“As a matter of fact, it is South Africans and not our government or political system which makes us proud,” Maimane said.
He said politicians, civil society, business and community-based organisations should “come together” to seek “solutions to build one South Africa which is prosperous for all”.
Maimane said that was why he and Mashaba “will engage citizens from all walks of life”.
“The launch of The People’s Dialogue has clearly demonstrated that South Africans want to engage in a positive, solutions-oriented discussion which is free from the constraints of our political system. As a people, we are tired of the negativity and want to believe in a future which will see one South Africa for all.
“This is not party politics, it is a sincere effort to bring forward a shared understanding of our challenges, and how we can best resolve them. South Africa needs men and women who are willing to lay all aside, move past what makes us different, and work together towards the building a shared future, collectively owned.
“I look forward to engaging the people of this great nation, to funding the solutions we need to build a South Africa we can all be proud of.”
(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)