Mashaba says his new political party needs a name, and why he won’t be kissing Helen

Former DA Johannesburg mayor and founder of The People's Dialogue, Herman Mashaba. Image: Twitter/@HermanMashaba

Herman Mashaba has said he listened to South Africans who took part in The People’s Dialogue survey engagement, urging him to launch a political party. 

Former City of Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba will officially launch his new political party in August this year.

In a statement, Mashaba said: “It is obviously difficult to be more precise with a date or an event type, given the uncertainty that exists from the Covid-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, I remain resolute.

“While some of the information and surprises relating to this party will have to wait until the launch, let me share with you what I can right now.

“Despite this uncertainty, which promises to remain a feature of the months to come, I can say without any doubt that we will launch this political party to contest the 2021 local government elections next year.”

Mashaba said they would allow anyone to join the party but warned there was one condition, the person must be committed to public service.

“We don’t want people who are looking for positions, or looking to fill their stomachs, ” Mashaba tweeted.

Mashaba said he listened to South Africans who took part in The People’s Dialogue survey engagement, urging him to launch a political party.

In several tweets, Mashaba said the party would not be called The People’s Dialogue: “Early next week, we will be releasing a platform for you, the people of South Africa, to suggest a name.”

Asked what will happen to The People’s Dialogue, Mashaba said: “The People’s Dialogue will remain as an NPO, and will be a think-tank for our political party. We want to build deep roots so that we can grow strong in the coming years.”

He joked that he won’t be kissing Helen Zille anytime soon, saying his political party won’t end up like an Agang SA.

“On a serious note, I can share that we will not be contesting all municipalities in South Africa. This is the mistake that many new political parties make. They have contested all 278 municipalities, as new parties with only months to prepare for elections, with the unambitious outcome of gaining a councillor here and there. This is why they have failed. Our political party will identify municipalities that are strategic in nature and where we will win,” he said.

The party will contest the elections in the three Gauteng metros – Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane, he said.

(Compiled by Sandisiwe Mbhele)

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