Former Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has confirmed his new political party will launch in August. Already spearheading the People’s Dialogue movement, the outspoken politician is set to ramp things up a notch over the next few months – regardless of the current coronavirus pandemic.
Moving on from the People’s Dialogue
Mashaba sensationally quit the DA last October, following changes to the hierarchy which also saw Helen Zille take a senior position within the party. At odds with his political home, the three-year mayor walked away on principle. After brief rumours of a collaboration with former DA leader Mmusi Maimane, it seems Herman Mashaba will now go his own way.
But, for those of you who’d consider voting for his new movement, there are a few things you should know.
Herman Mashaba’s new political party: What will it be called?
We know that the People’s Dialogue moniker will not carry through to this new project. Mashaba did state that a name would be chosen ‘within a few weeks’, meaning that the party will have some form of brand identity by June. This would be the biggest political movement created by a high-profile politician in South Africa since Patricia de Lille left the DA and formed ‘Good’, who now have two seats in Parliament.
When I left, and many of you asked me to launch a political party, I said that I would only do so if there was a mandate from the people of South Africa.#ThePeoplesDialogue has given us that mandate.
These are the values millions of you want us to fight for: pic.twitter.com/KEf9ovszrN
— Herman Mashaba (@HermanMashaba) May 13, 2020
Let’s talk policy: What does a vote for Herman Mashaba mean?
- He’s set to bring his mayoral rhetoric with him on this journey, promising a tough stance on crime and corruption.
- Herman Mashaba states his new party will have a pro-poor focus, presenting solutions ‘for all South Africans’.
- Mashaba said he wants to target “non-voters” – some 20 million in South Africa – to build a support base.
- He’s also open to considering serious discussions on the death penalty, for the most abhorrent of crimes.
- The ex-mayor has made it implicitly clear that inequality ‘has to be addressed’, with the goal of creating a strong middle-class in SA.
When, where and how could one vote for this new party?
Mashaba’s party say they will contend the 2021 municipal elections, but remain focused on just three major regions. They will field candidates in Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, and his old stomping ground of Johannesburg. The politician did hint that other regions would be considered ‘if they held strategic value’.
There is also a longer-term vision for Herman Mashaba and his team: They have plans to run in all nine provinces by 2024, in time for the next general election. A successful municipal campaign could certainly help build momentum for a party looking to take advantage of an official opposition (the DA) that’s losing ground on the ANC.
Speaking of the ruling party, Mashaba also confirmed on Wednesday that a coalition with the ANC is ‘out of the question’. But funnily enough, he’d consider working with other parties. Could the one-time leader of Johannesburg work with the DA again in the future? It’s possible – after all, even the EFF has praised him for his willingness to cooperate with others. Perhaps history could repeat itself in Gauteng.