The ANC and South African prosperity do not belong in the same sentence.
ActionSA founder Herman Mashaba, pictured right, does not mince his words when it comes to the ruling party, nor his intention to again don the Joburg mayoral chain.
While ActionSA started as the dark horse of this election, Mashaba’s ambition may not be pie in the sky, as online sentiment continues to edge positively in his party’s favour.
ActionSA is contesting key ANC-led metros, including Ekurhuleni, eThekwini, Johannesburg and Tshwane.
“Our strategy is to unseat the ANC in local government and limit their access to the public purse that they continue to dine on,” he says.
“Once we manage to remove the ANC from the large cities the party will weaken and people will start splitting off. There will be nothing to eat, so to speak. ANC people are in government to take, not to give.”
This is one of the reasons the party has not challenged the DA in Cape Town this time.
“This election is our last opportunity to save South Africa,” Mashaba says, adding that he does not see any other political party standing up to the ANC. And he doesn’t plan to sit on the opposition sidelines.
“Other parties seem comfortable to spend their time in opposition for decades. I do not really see the point as voters would rather make their mark next to a viable alternative to the ANC.”
ActionSA has been gaining momentum over the past few weeks, as did search queries about it and its policies. It’s firmly moving from outsider to a real contender.
This at the expense of, primarily it seems, the Democratic Alliance (DA), whose off-message segues – from the Phoenix poster debacle to this week’s John Steenhuisen smirk and alleged talk of ANC-DA coalitions – seem to have hamstrung its election effort.
Mashaba views the EFF as a spent force and the DA as an ANClite. Should emerging numbers be right, it suggests that this may be an election of coalitions.
“But our strategy is not about settling as a 15-20% party like the DA,” he says.
Leaked strategy documents this week revealed alleged plans by the DA to lie in wait and ultimately forge a coalition with the ANC.
“We are a bit more ambitious than that,” Mashaba says.
“We intend to fix South Africa and get it out of the clutches of the ANC for the good of all our people.
“While it is too early to tell, and we believe that we may govern some metros, ActionSA may look at coalitions after the election,” he says.