South Africa

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ActionSA’s Herman Mashaba throws his name in the Johannesburg mayoral hat

ActionSA’s Herman Mashaba throws his name in the Johannesburg mayoral hat
Former City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba (Photo by Gallo Images / City Press /Tebogo Letsie)

The leader of ActionSA and former mayor of Johannesburg wants a second bite at the cherry, announcing that he would run for a second tenure.

Less than two years after his resignation as DA member and Mayor of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba announced his mayoral candidacy for the City of Johannesburg.

Mashaba says his decision was motivated by many Johannesburg residents who want to see him back. 

“I have been under tremendous pressure in the last few months from people on the ground in the city of Johannesburg who have said — Mashaba please stand,” he said.

After consultation with his team, Mashaba decided to opt back in. “Today I am putting my name forward to serve you, the residents of Johannesburg, once more,” Mashaba said. “And once you give me the mandate, I will resume the work of bringing real change to the people of Johannesburg.”

Mashaba said his party will not be contesting all 278 municipalities during the 27 October local government elections*, rather it will focus on four metros, including Johannesburg. ActionSA has said it will be ready for the national and provincial elections in 2024.

“We can only contest in municipalities where there is a very strong sense that we will make an impact,” added Mashaba.

The ActionSA leader said if his party was unable to secure an outright win he was prepared to form a coalition with all other political parties, excluding the ANC. “We will not work with the ANC in any given situation,” said Mashaba.

Mashaba maintained that since he had left office, he had noticed conditions in Johannesburg’s inner city had deteriorated and had seen a decline in hygiene, power and sanitation services as well as a declining commitment by authorities in dealing with crime.

“We will bring change that creates a professional and ethical public service that serves our people. We will bring change that restores the rule of law by ensuring law enforcement authorities are capacitated to execute their duties with distinction,” Mashaba said, adding that local government was the fulcrum of national government. 

“If we cannot get local government working, very little else in government will.” 

Mashaba said he was committed to making Johannesburg work while listing his achievements while in office, including resurfacing almost 1,000km of roads and tarring 88km of road infrastructure throughout the city. 

Mashaba — the first DA mayor to run Johannesburg — also said that under his prior leadership almost 2,000km of water pipes and over 125km of sewer pipes were replaced. Electrification of 10,000 households, the construction of six clinics and operation of 10 mobile clinics was overseen by his administration. He said they also managed to reclaim 154 hijacked properties, which were subsequently referred to the private sector. 

Mashaba throws his name in the hat at a time of heightened expectation surrounding the performance of new and smaller parties in South Africa. His former party the DA was soundly beaten by the Patriotic Alliance in its former stronghold of Eldorado Park during by-elections this week. 

Mashabe, founder of Black Like Me hair care and former chair of the Free Market Foundation,  resigned as a DA member and as mayor in October 2019 after Helen Zille was elected chair of the party’s federal council. 

“I cannot reconcile myself with a group of people who believe that race is irrelevant in the discussion of inequality and poverty in South Africa in 2019,” he said at the time. DM

*Note: The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) held a media briefing on Thursday afternoon  20 May 2020 to announce that former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke has been assigned to head a review panel to determine if the local government elections can be free and fair – in all aspects  – amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Lesley Young says:

    Good luck to you. No doubt any bad surprises ( if you win)that you find will be blamed either on your previous occupancy, or apartheid.

  • James Francis says:

    Other from a cheap pamphlet, I’ve heard nothing more about Action SA in my area. The DA, for all its flaws, has strong community networks and responsive councilors that help stoke service delivery. That’s what I vote for.

  • Christopher Campbell says:

    Is this because his party hasn’t made any headway or do people really want a change. Let’s see the outcome.

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