Mmusi Mamaine's One SA to contest local elections through independent candidates
One SA (OSA) leader Mmusi Maimane has announced his organisation will be recruiting independent candidates for this year’s local government elections.
However, Maimane has ruled himself out of running as an independent candidate for this year’s election because he has his eyes on the general elections in 2024.
This follows a Constitutional Court ruling which has allowed independent candidates to stand for both provincial and national government elections in 2024.
Parliament is yet to develop an amendment to the Electoral Act to put the judgment into effect.
Addressing the media on Monday morning, Maimane said his organisation resolved to support independent candidates at its national executive meeting held over the weekend.
Maimane’s One SA, which he established after resigning as DA leader in 2019, was celebrating its one year of existence this weekend.
Since its establishment, it has taken up a number of causes, including taking on the government in court over the reopening of schools during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic last year.
Addressing journalists, Maimane said the country’s future will not be shaped by political parties.
The party-political system is fundamentally broken and adding another party to the ever-growing list is not a viable solution.Mmusi Maimane
“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.
“OSA is not a political party and will not become a political party.
“We believe the party-political system is fundamentally broken and adding another party to the ever-growing list is not a viable solution,” said Maimane.
He said he will start to meet and recruit possible candidates to stand for the elections. This process will be completed in March this year.
“What is patently clear is that local government is failing and our citizens are suffering as a result. Therefore, the national council has resolved to support a cohort of independent candidates chosen by their communities to stand for election as ward councillors in the local government elections.
“We are convinced these elections can and will demonstrate the power and potential of independent candidates, providing South Africans with a real alternative to political parties,” said Maimane.
He said his organisation will offer training and support to all the candidates who partner with OSA.
Maimane said the candidates will be chosen by communities but will be required to sign a pact with OSA.
He said the training provided to councillors will come from an academy his organisation will establish to focus on leadership, entrepreneurship and finance. Maimane will partner with the Leadership Institute in Washington and the Chandler Institute of Governance in Singapore.
“[The] national council also resolved to establish two distinct bodies. Firstly, a governance and oversight forum to recruit, train and provide oversight of councillors’ work after elections. And secondly, a campaign committee to ensure support is adequately provided to candidates throughout their election campaigns.”