Former Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba says he will be launching his new political party in August. Mashaba made the announcement during a virtual press conference on Wednesday.

He said the party, which will be part of next year’s local government elections, will only be contesting in the Gauteng Province’s three strategic Metros, Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane.

Mashaba said the formation of the party resulted from the engagements of The People’s Dialogue he established in December last year, following his departure from the Democratic Alliance (DA).

Mashaba said despite uncertainty brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, he remains resolute in his decision to launch the party.

” I can say without any doubt that we will launch this political party to contest the 2021 Local Government Elections next year. People often ask me how this party will be different from the parties that came before us, for instance, AGANG, on a light-hearted note I can emphatically say that I won’t be kissing Helen anytime soon.”

He said they will only be contesting in the three Metros in Gauteng and use their performance in these municipalities for support in the national elections in 2024.

” Our political party will identify municipalities that are strategic in nature and where we win, we will govern in these municipalities and will demonstrate value by improving the lives of the people living in these municipalities. I can say with certainty that we will absolutely be contesting the three Metros in Gauteng where the African National Congress (ANC) is already under 50% in Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane.”

Mashaba said his new party will be open to a coalition arrangement with any political party contesting next year’s elections with the exception of the ANC.

” I embrace coalition arrangements,  going forward without any doubt. I will go into a coalition arrangement with any party that is going to contest so far that I’m aware of with the exception of the ANC.  I will not go into a coalition arrangement with the ANC but I will go into a coalition arrangement with all other parties.”

On the funding of the party, Mashaba said that it’s mainly from his family and contribution from The People’s Dialogue. He said the platform was joined by more than two million South Africans.

” So far up to 95% of the millions I’ve put towards this project have been donations and support from my family but we’ve really been overwhelmed by the support from ordinary South Africans, pensioners actually giving us R20, R50 actually some of them have activated a debit on a month to month basis so right now the biggest funding we’ve received from an individual is R100 000.”

In the video below SABC reporter Natasha Phiri says Herman Mashaba is still in consultations regarding the name of the party :