‘Great idea’ or ‘waste of time’? – Maimane’s local government elections announcement draws mixed reactions
News that One SA Movement intends on participating in this year’s local government elections has met with mixed reaction.
On Monday, One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane announced that the movement will be participating in the upcoming elections. However, instead of contesting the elections as a collective, the movement will be recruiting independent candidates.
In a statement, Maimane said the move was to fix what he calls a broken political system.
Maimane said he will start to meet and recruit possible candidates to stand for the elections. This process will be completed in March this year.
He said the One SA movement was not a political party and will not become one.
“We believe the political party system is fundamentally broken and adding another party to the ever-growing list is not a viable solution,” said Maimane.
Maimane said the candidates will not be from his movement but “of their own communities”.
“In the coming days, we will open a process inviting all South Africans to submit independent candidates and wards they believe OSA should support in the upcoming elections. Those applying ought to espouse ethical leadership and be held in high esteem by members of their community,” he said.
One SA Movement will support, train, equip and campaign OSA-endorsed independents in wards across the county.
“We are convinced that to change our country we desperately and urgently require a change in both governance and government. To this end, we must provide the people of SA something new and different, guided by the principle of giving true power back to the people,” he said.
On social media, the announcement drew mixed reactions from many, including transport minister Fikile Mbalula.
Mbalula said Maimane's resignation from the DA in 2019 was “fake”.
“Your resignation from DA was fake, both you and [Herman] Mashaba,” he said.
Here is a snapshot of what social media users had to say:
Very different approach. Interesting model. Disintermediation of politics. Sort of like a Franchisee/Franchisor model for politics. If it works, ANC and DA WILL adopt a version if this. What is clear from last by elections is that independents have some sway in communities.— Msezane 🇿🇦 (@JaffeJoffer16) January 25, 2021
This is a great idea. My only plea is that your media and communications strategy should have a wide and deep reach. Without this, I fear your movement will be ineffectual. I’m talking about newspaper ads, social media promotion, broadcast, billboards, etc. it needs to be known.— Diogenes Laertius (@DiogenesLaerti3) January 25, 2021
Playing the long game... The idea isn't bad. It's actually a good one. Particularly because you'll be giving your councilors proper training.— Jimmy Ramokgopa (@JimmyRamokgopa) January 25, 2021
This is NOT a wise move at all!!!— Kgomotso Kumbe (@BoitekongTsotsi) January 25, 2021
As an emerging party, you stand to loose many PR seats. PR seats would could towards sending Councillors if votes are cast & counted for the organization as a unit
Just think about it Malome🤔
I support the idea. Two Qs: do you have mechanisms in place to identify "independent" candidates put in place by existing parties to dupe the system; & will you advocate for a constituency based national/provincial electoral system to complement this initiative at local level?— Steven Titus (@SteveTitus001) January 25, 2021
This is just a waste of time. I know in your liberal circles you call it democracy. Our politics promotes so much individualism, every disgruntled politician sees themselves as capable of leading. Can’t you join any party and contribute meaningfully there to it?— Sbonelo Radebe (@Starmthimkhulu) January 25, 2021
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