Mashaba predicts Action SA will be a strong contender in Western Cape

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Action SA President, Herman Mashaba says the Western Cape will be hotly contested during the elections and his party will make a strong play for a majority vote.

Mashaba announced the party’s premier candidate in Manenberg on the Cape Flats on Tuesday.

Angela Sobey was called up for the position by the party as a strong candidate given that she grew up in the area and knows the major challenges, especially poor communities face.

Mashaba says while Action SA was formed during the global pandemic and is still in its infancy, its support base is growing strong.

The party will contest the elections across the country.

“It’s an exciting, historic day for us as a new political party. First time to contest in the provincial elections; first time to contest in a national election and the Western Cape is important for South Africa. I think we are aware of the developments; we are aware of the challenges, and we believe we are the only political party that can actually help the Western Cape to be what it should be,” says Mashaba.

The premier candidate, Angela Sobey grew up in the blocks of flats in Manenberg.

Sobey says she has lived experience of the grave challenges people face and that such communities have not seen meaningful change in the 30-year-old democracy.

“The so-called coloured vote has been something that has been the object of political manipulation since apartheid. Under apartheid it was like your coloureds are not white enough but it’s not as bad as the blacks and under democracy, it’s like you’re not black enough and the whites must now go back to the back of the queue, but then even black people are not enfranchised under democracy. Your BEE – and that’s one of the things that we’re very vocal about – we’re wanting to do away with Black Economic Empowerment because it has only served to enrich a few elites and politically-connected individuals and we’re wanting to replace that with inclusive empowerment. We want to make sure that we restore the dignity of South Africans, that South Africans are able to work,” says Sobey.

Political analyst, Harlan Cloete says the rise of new parties will serve as a challenge for the ruling Democratic Alliance in the province.

“Action SA, I believe will eat from the DA, the same with the Patriotic Alliance. You know the Patriotic Alliance, I think will also eat from the DA … in Mitchell’s Plain, you’ve got the National Coloured Congress. And so, for the first time, I think the DA goes into this election in the Western Cape specifically slightly more nervous than the previous one because these players weren’t as strong as they were. Action SA is the first in the Western Cape. The Patriotic Alliance has seen growth, especially their performance in local government and I think that they will definitely eat from the DA,” says Dr. Harlan Cloete, Research Fellow at the University of Free State.

Action SA says it will give forgotten communities of the Western Cape an opportunity to share in the province’s progress.