ActionSA is the alternative to a failed establishment – Mashaba

Unlike other political parties, ActionSA remains the only political party which has stated publicly that it won’t work with the ruling party.

I reluctantly entered politics in 2015. After many years of success in business – having launched one of the country’s largest hair care companies Black Like Me at the height of apartheid – I became frustrated with the direction the country was taking.

In 1994, I dreamt of a future where all South Africans would benefit from South Africa’s riches and contributed financially to the ruling party. But I would be left sorely disappointed as only a few politically connected benefitted.

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I promised my friends and family that if South Africans re-elected Jacob Zuma as president, I would become a member of the opposition to turn around the country’s decline.

Shortly after, I was nominated to become the party’s City of Joburg mayoral candidate but decided to fly to the United States to convince Lindiwe Mazibuko to be the candidate instead. Again, after hours of conversations, I reluctantly agreed to be the mayoral candidate as there was no one else suitable to occupy the role.

My record as Joburg mayor speaks for itself, having helped electrify areas such as Kliptown for the first time, insourced thousands of frontline workers and uncovered over R35 billion in corruption.

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But in 2019, I became disillusioned with opposition politics when my party decided to pursue narrow minority rights over building a large majority, which could remove the ruling party from power. After leaving the City of Joburg, I spent eight months consulting South Africans on what could be done to fix the country.

And 2.4 million South Africans gave me the mandate to start ActionSA. ActionSA’s commitment was always to build broad support to remove the ruling party to fix South Africa.

In 2021, ActionSA disrupted the political establishment, becoming the sixth-biggest party nationwide, despite only contesting six out of the country’s 278 municipalities. In every Gauteng municipality we contested, we managed to bring the ruling party to below 40%.

Today, ActionSA is the only party with the momentum behind it to grow its support to remove the ruling party nationwide. We have structures in all nine provinces with more than 280 000 members who are sharing the hopes of ActionSA with South Africans every day.

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Our policies, adopted at our inaugural policy conference in September, will put South Africa onto a path of prosperity by restoring the rule of law by, among others, ensuring a life in prison means a life in prison, expanding social grants – because no one can live on R350 a month – and igniting economic growth through labour reform and reclaiming hijacked buildings.

We believe that growing the economy alone won’t address the legacy of apartheid and want to create the Opportunity Fund, which will benefit all previously disadvantaged South Africans.

If voters give us the largest mandate, it can ensure that we lead coalition governments to ensure these policies are implemented. We have seen how yellow manages coalition governments and how blue manages coalition governments. Now it’s time to give green a chance.

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As I did with a seven-party coalition in Johannesburg, I know ActionSA will be able to lead a stable coalition government nationwide. We simply can’t do the same thing and expect a different outcome. This year we need to be brave enough to vote for an alternative because the ruling party has failed in the past 30 years.

Unlike other political parties, ActionSA remains the only political party which has stated publicly that it won’t work with the ruling party. We do not believe we can give power to the very thieves who broke our country.

While the political establishment has shown it will always choose the party’s interest above the interest of our people, ActionSA has shown we will always choose the interest of South Africans above our own. We will deal harshly with unethical leadership.

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But to fix South Africa, it will require that voters take action at the ballot box and vote for a credible alternative, because only action will fix South Africa.

-All parties and independent candidates are invited to send an opinion piece to the news editor at

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