Maimane's One SA Movement to contest elections in 10 municipalities

Aphiwe Deklerk Political reporter
One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane. File photo.
One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane. File photo.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Mmusi Maimane has announced that his One SA Movement will be contesting the elections with independent candidates in 10 municipalities around the country.

Maimane, during a press conference at Constitution Hill on Friday, said the first group of 10 community organisations had been identified which will field candidates for this year's local government elections.

The former DA leader seems to be targeting mainly smaller municipalities. 

In Gauteng, they will contest in the troubled Emfuleni local municipality now run by the ANC, while in the Eastern Cape he will be going for the smaller Beyers Naudé and Enoch Mgijima municipalities.

In the Western Cape, One SA will target Knysna and Cederberg, while in the Northern Cape he will be going after Ubuntu local municipality.

Despite the collapse of numerous municipalities in the North West, OSA will only be going for Moses Kotane municipality. In Mpumalanga it will target the JS Moroka local municipality and in Limpopo it is eyeing Greater Letaba local municipality and Lepelle-Nkumpi municipality.

Asked why he was focusing on smaller municipalities, Maimane said this was not the complete list of municipalities OSA had an interest in.

“It doesn't mean that metros are excluded in that journey, remember we are working towards an October election, so we will be looking at those. The trick is to always ensure that you have got capable leaders, so even right now we are having conversations with an association in Tshwane to look at that particular metro.

“We will look at what happens in the Eastern Cape with all the respective wards. But also you don't want to fight battles. For example, if you say let's go and contest in Mangaung, if you don't have an appropriate association structure there, then you will achieve what political parties have achieved by giving power to people who will annex it away from the people,” he said.

Maimane's strategy is to partner with community organisations who then elect a candidate to stand in their ward. 

He told the media that OSA has registered a body called the Independent Candidate Association of South Africa, which will hold accountable elected independent candidates.

The body will have community associations as affiliates and will have the authority to fire rogue councillors. It will also be the vehicle OSA will use to channel resources and training to the independent councillors.

Maimane said OSA was against the postponement of this year's elections and had made a submission to the IEC process, headed by justice Dikgang Moseneke, to evaluate the viability of elections.

“What happens in 2024 when someone wakes up and says there are economic conditions that don't favour elections or whatever the next reason is? You are setting a new precedent that will seek out new conditions for how and when elections can be postponed.”

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