ROAD TO 2024 ELECTIONS
ActionSA plans to boost its 225,000 membership with voter recruitment drive, policy conference told
ActionSA says it has 225,000 members and is planning on accelerating its membership recruitment drive ahead of the 2024 elections.
ActionSA predicts that it will grow its support, including in provinces other than its base in Gauteng, according to party national chairperson Michael Beaumont.
Speaking at the party’s first policy conference at Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg this week, Beaumont explained that ActionSA’s membership is mostly from Gauteng and consists of a mixed demographic.
“We have 225,000 members of this party and the most frightening thing for our opponents is that a third of them have been signed up in the last six months. It has been [in] Gauteng and you have got to remember that historically it has been the epicentre of our support with the party launching there, with [ActionSA president] Herman Mashaba as the mayoral candidate for the 2021 elections.”
At the 2021 local government polls, the party contested only a handful of metros in its first elections and managed to be the sixth-largest party nationally. It won more than 8% in Gauteng and took 16% in the City of Johannesburg.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Herman Mashaba’s Action SA is a breakout story of election – the count continues
“We won voting districts in townships, we won voting districts in suburbs and we won votes in informal settlements and CBDs. ActionSA is the home that unites all citizens. Since then our growth path has continued,” Beaumont said.
“This party is growing and is growing quickly. We emerged from the 2021 elections with two priorities. First, we had to develop strong structures on the ground across the country. Second, we needed to develop a unique policy offering that would differentiate ActionSA [from] other political parties,” he said.
True test will be in party’s second elections
Political analyst Levy Ndou told Daily Maverick that it’s not unusual for new parties to fare well in elections. However, the true test will lie in its second attempt to woo voters.
“ActionSA made a significant impact in the 2021 elections after it was formed a few months before the elections. In most cases, parties which have been formed prior to elections do well. Now that we are approaching the general elections it will depend on the message they are sending to the people and their capacity to be able to reach all the corners of the Republic of SA.
“My expectation is that even though they might not make a big impact, ActionSA has become an important factor in SA politics. The policy conference of ActionSA should be able to articulate their party position. It becomes easier for people to listen to you and be able to follow your message as a political party,” he said.
In his closing address to the policy conference on Thursday afternoon, Mashaba articulated the party’s decisions on policy.
ActionSA believes that the BBBEE Act of 2003 should be replaced with a package of interventions under the party’s policy of “inclusive economic empowerment”.
“When implemented, inclusive economic empowerment will see the launch of a massive opportunity fund which will fundamentally reduce inequality in South Africa.
“It will provide millions of funding for entrepreneurs so that South Africa’s youth can launch the next Black Like Me [Mashaba’s hair product company]. We will help fund tertiary education, and ignite massive public construction to help make life for the most marginalised easier,” Mashaba said.
The party’s policies allow for a competitive and decentralised energy market so the private sector can fill the gap in electricity generation.
“We will eradicate corruption at Eskom, allowing us to bring rolling blackouts in South Africa to an end. When we take the government, our policy conference approved that we will restore the rule of law in South Africa so we can grow the economy and create jobs,” he said.
Read more in Daily Maverick: ActionSA will take ‘middle ground’ on immigration, says Mashaba
Mashaba also spoke about introducing harsher laws against criminals.
“Life sentence will mean life sentence. Prisoners will provide productive labour that benefits society, and violent criminals — including rapists — will be denied bail.
“We will stop prosecuting the victims of drug abuse, ensuring that drug dealers are arrested and families receive the support they need to deal with this disease.
“Our people will finally be able to walk freely in our streets,” he said. DM