LISTEN | ‘Anyone but the ANC’: ActionSA on coalitions talks

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba is adamant his newcomer party will not enter into coalitions with the ANC. File photo.
ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba is adamant his newcomer party will not enter into coalitions with the ANC. File photo.

The City of Johannesburg is likely to have a government of coalitions that will exclude the ANC if ActionSA has its way.

On Tuesday night the party held its senate meeting on coalitions, where it was decided it should consult with their voters — in a similar fashion to that of the Political Dialogues — to get a mandate on which party ActionSA should get into bed with.

TimesLIVE understands that when these consultations take place, ActionSA will tell its voters they should pick “anyone but the ANC”.

The party has ruled out any chance of going into a coalition with the ANC in any of the municipalities in which they received a sizeable number of votes.

The newcomer party led by Herman Mashaba has become a roleplayer in Johannesburg, given its margin of the votes counted so far.

At 47% of the vote count in Johannesburg, ActionSA had 16.08% while the DA had 29.11% and the ANC was edging ahead with 31.65%.

Insiders who attended the meeting said they all agreed that the stance to not go into a coalition with the ANC would not be changed, even after they consulted with voters.

The party is expected to come up with a document guiding its coalition talks likely to take place in several municipalities including Tshwane, Newcastle, eThekwini and Johannesburg.

ActionSA spokesperson Michael Beaumont did not want to go into the details of the meeting as Mashaba was scheduled to hold a press briefing, but he confirmed they had discussed coalitions.

“We are already on record as a political party saying coalitions are the future and we want to innovate how coalitions take place, part of which means opening this process, making it transparent and making it one that solicits the views of South Africans. That is something we are committed to,” Beaumont said at the Electoral Commission (IEC) results centre in Pretoria.

Beaumont said though the ANC was edging ahead in some municipalities, including in eThekwini, they would never consider getting into bed with the party.

He said their mission is to remove the ANC from power and it would make no sense to help it govern.

“We are on record that we will never govern with the ANC because you cannot solve the problem by partnering with the cause of that problem,” he said.

“The ANC is the cause of SA’s problems. We can’t partner with them in a coalition. To talk practically, how do you investigate corruption when you govern with the same party that created the corruption?”

Beaumont said they were willing to have a discussion with the EFF, a party that differs with ActionSA on its immigration policy.

Insiders said the decision to not consider the ANC was influenced by ActionSA’s plans for the national elections in 2024.

Beaumont said they were happy with the votes received by the party so far.

“I think you will never find a political party that says, we don’t want any more votes ... it’s always going to be ‘we want more votes’, but certainly we are very pleased with these results,” he said.

“The reason we are pleased is that if you consider that ActionSA is a political party that’s only 13 months old, we were born in a hard lockdown, had a number of serious impediments put in our way and, against that, we have still achieved the results which we are very pleased with.”

In his press briefing at the IEC centre, Mashaba reiterated that “under no circumstances” would they go into a coalition with the ANC.

He said they would put out a 48-hour poll to ask voters who ActionSA should consider going into a coalition with.

“So within the next few hours we are going to run a 48-hour poll because we are a party built on engaging South Africans from the days of the People’s Dialogue.”

Mashaba said they had already decided that anyone who wanted to talk about going into a coalition must know that ActionSA’s core values were social justice.

“As ActionSA, we want to run a pro-poor government, we are not a political party that’s only going to serve certain constituencies. Social justice is one of the non-negotiables,” said Mashaba.​


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