South African voters’ choices ahead of the 2024 national election just keep growing by the day with the launch of Activists South Africa (ASA) over the weekend. The new political breakaway comprises mainly disgruntled members from Herman Mashaba’s outfit ActionSA. The upcoming election is truly turning out to offer a veritable smorgasbord to the electorate. Whether this is good or bad depends on where you sit in the political hierarchy of the country. If you’re the ANC (fast being considered a rural party) – I suspect you couldn’t give a damn as the majority of your faithful either vote for you or prefer to abstain. The DA – as the second biggest party in the country – is particularly annoyed by smaller parties as they see it as weakening their chances of bringing down the ANC. Also, another lesson being learnt, is that it’s very difficult to manage coalitions with multiple partners containing seven or even nine different entities. While much has been made of the role independent candidates may play in 2024, Mmusi Maimane – who himself launched a new political party recently called Build One South Africa (Bosa) – says: “Parliament is asking people to say, if you want to run the comrades [compete in the elections] as an independent, you’re going to have to run backwards without shoes and we’ll hopefully see you at the finishing line.” We truly are spoiled for choice but despite this many citizens say there’s no one who resonates with them. Many South Africans couldn’t be bothered to register to vote. Among those who are registered, many don’t bother turning up on voting day. South Africans need to get engaged in their democracy if they’re unhappy with the status quo or hunker down for what is to come. The news piece below first appeared on Daily Friend. – Michael Appel
Former ActionSA members in KZN have started their own breakaway political party — Activists South Africa (ASA)
“If you’re an activist, involved in your community, aware of the status quo and want to do something about it then it’s time to come together and let’s do our own thing,” said Busi Ntshingila, ASA’s provincial chairperson.
Ntshingila is the former eThekwini regional chairperson of ActionSA. She resigned in July 2022 after becoming disillusioned with the party leadership. She likens ActionSA to the ANC.
Her time with ActionSA was her first foray into the world of politics in the country.
One of the core principles of the party would be to prioritise the views and opinions of activists in their respective communities, as they usually know better, said Ntshingila.
Ntshingila said ASA was mainly made up of former ActionSA members, but there were also people from other political parties. The party launched on Saturday in Durban, having been planned since August.
Following a flurry of resignations, in August ActionSA disbanded its KZN executive committee. Despite resigning under acrimonious circumstances, Ntshingila said ActionSA taught her a lot.
“What I learned from ActionSA is that you can build something from nothing. We built ActionSA in KZN with no resources.”
Ntshingila said many of the members in ASA had strong community ties and they needed an outlet to continue their groundwork.
ASA is funded by its members, predominantly based in KZN. The party will compete in the 2024 general elections and is targeting a minimum of five seats in the KZN legislature.
“We need more people from SA saying I love my community and I am willing to stand up for it and I assure [people] that in 10 years our country will look very different,” she said.
This content was originally published here.