LISTEN | ActionSA exits Multi-party Charter, but will stay put in Tshwane

06 June 2024 - 15:49
By Sisanda Mbolekwa
ActionSA national chair Michael Beaumont at the IEC's national results operation centre at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand. File photo.
Image: Freddy Mavunda ActionSA national chair Michael Beaumont at the IEC's national results operation centre at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand. File photo.

ActionSA has cut the cord, formally exiting the multiparty charter.

This follows the outcomes of a two-day senate meeting where the party resolved to divorce itself from the opposition pre-election pact grouping. The senate is the party's highest decision-making body.

The party called the structure to reflect on its electoral performance. It also sought to deliberate on its relationship with other political parties on the back of its former pact partner, the DA, flirting with the idea of entering a grand coalition with the ANC.


ActionSA national chairperson Michael Beaumont said this move emanated from the breaching of the initial pact contract, which ruled out any possibility of the pact partners working with the ANC.

“The multiparty agreement has been seriously breached by political parties that have contravened the declaration in terms of section 7 of the multiparty agreement. This is by those parties who publicly signed and campaigned under an agreement which expressly ruled out working relationships with the ANC,” he said.

Despite the about-turn from other parties, ActionSA remains steadfast about not entertaining any proposals to collaborate with the former ruling party, he said.

“ActionSA remains steadfast in its public commitment to being an alternative to the ANC and redoubles this commitment in an environment where the opposition space has abandoned the mission by planning to coalesce with the ANC.”

Beaumont said their commitment to the charter was for the benefit of the South African electorate and not to parties within the charter.

However, despite their resolve to divorce themselves from the charter, where it governs with the DA and other pact partners it won't be pulling out of those coalitions.

“We are not going to punish the residents of Tshwane because of what other political parties have done. When we enter arrangements, we enter them for the people and not for other political parties. If the DA is going to do a deal with the ANC, and the deal will extend across all tiers of government, then we invite the DA to replace us with the ANC because we will not in good conscience be involved in any coalition that involves the ANC.”

The party's duty is to honour its commitment to be an alternative to the ANC, Beaumont said. “This is after ActionSA early last year conducted an online public participation process with our members, structures and ordinary South Africans that urged us to participate in the Multi-party Charter and emphatically resolved that we reaffirm our commitment to being an alternative to the ANC.

“As such we will remain in the City of Tshwane government in its current configuration but are prepared to vacate that government and be a constructive opposition should the politics of the day return the ANC to the capital.”

On Tuesday the party revealed that its president Herman Mashaba and Beaumont will not be taking up two of six parliamentary seats afforded to them by their more than 630,000 votes at the polls. Instead they will be fielding other senior leaders in a bid to regroup and focus their energies on the local government elections in 2026.

“ActionSA has assessed a potential parliament in which the opposition forms a coalition with the ANC and determined that ActionSA is going to have to be the unofficial opposition in parliament,” it said. 

“We will operate as a constructive opposition in the National Assembly and the three legislatures where we are represented. If sound and ethical proposals are placed before our representatives, that serve the South African people, we will support those proposals unreservedly.

“Similarly, when accountability is required, we will be the hardest when it comes to holding a government to account when the opposition is conflicted.”