Baloyi to announce next move after resigning from ActionSA

Former ActionSA Gauteng provincial chairperson and Midvaal mayor, Bongani Baloyi, will on Thursday make an announcement about his next political home after the dramatic exit from Herman Mashaba’s shadow. 

In a social media post on Wednesday, Baloyi described his looming move following his recent resignation from ActionSA as an announcement of national importance.

Baloyi quit ActionSA on March 13, saying that his relationship with Mashaba had ended due to differences over his running of the provincial structures and mistrust.

He said at the time that he had to part ways with the party because he refused to be a pushover, and noted that he left the DA in 2021 because it was time for a change.

After the DA, he wanted to join a party that appealed broadly to all South Africans.

However, said Baloyi, he was surprised to find that Mashaba seemed more interested in personalizing the party rather than building strong institutional foundations.

ActionSA had weaknesses and he felt it was his duty to use his experience working with an established party to strengthen the organisation, he said.

As the party’s chairperson in Gauteng, Baloyi said his mission was to empower more leaders within the party, as he believed that one of ActionSA’s major weaknesses was its lack of understanding of building strong organisational structures.

Because of his commitment, Baloyi said, four of the party’s five regions in Gauteng now have dedicated regional leaders.

This was a significant accomplishment that helped ensure that ActionSA is well-structured and well-equipped to serve South Africans, he said.

“I am knowledgeable. I know how to build structures,” he said at the time.

“I got into ActionSA understanding its weaknesses and where there were weaknesses. I took it upon myself to close those weaknesses. I always contributed value to ActionSA.

“In Gauteng, the party has five regions. Out of those five regions and counting, four have regional executives. That is something I have done to stabilise the structures.

“I was intentional to take a posture in so far as national leadership, to say to them [national leadership] devolve more power to the structures. Devolving more power to the structures meant embarking on a journey to start democratisation within the party.”

Baloyi said he knew his approach would create tension, however, he was “intentional and not moved because it was important for me to hold that posture to persuade and influence”.

He worried that within ActionSA, power was largely concentrated among top officials. But it was crucial to democratise the party’s grassroot structures to empower more members, he said.

Baloyi said that in politics, bystanders were not an option. Every member should have a voice in shaping the party’s direction and policies, he said.

“I told Mashaba and [Michael] Beaumont to give them power because power resides at the top only, and you’ve got these structures below who just remain bystanders, and you cannot do anything as a bystander in politics.

“So, I fought and championed the battle of devolving power to the structures. I believe that may have also created some tension, but tension in politics is a normal thing,” said Baloyi.

Baloyi added that he was surprised by how Mashaba handled the tension between them, sharing that he has had disagreements with other leaders in the past, including ActionSA national chairperson Beaumont, but they always found a way to communicate and work towards a resolution.

However, Mashaba chose to remain silent and surprised him during a meeting by stating that there were irreconcilable differences between them, he said.

Despite his frustration with the party’s incompetence and the party leader’s insecurities, Baloyi said he was still willing to work towards improving ActionSA for the benefit of voters.

However, he became increasingly fed-up when Mashaba revealed that he would be demoted from his position as provincial chairperson and offered the role of national spokesperson instead.

Said Baloyi: “Mashaba and Beaumont called me for a meeting and Mashaba told me that he believed that there is a breakdown of a relationship between us and that it is irreconcilable.

“He said to me because I don’t trust you and with our relationship having deteriorated, I want to move you as the provincial chairperson and appoint you as national spokesperson.

“I was baffled at that moment, because I could not understand how you can say there is a trust issue in our relationship and that it has broken down, yet you still want to appoint me in a position that works with you everyday.”

Following Mashaba’s decision to demote him, Baloyi asked for time to consider his options.

He consulted with other party leaders, who helped him accept that he was no longer a valued member of ActionSA.

He said there were already signs of division within the party, as they no longer presented a united front.

For instance, he said, there were occasions when he and Mashaba would attend separate events in the same province. According to Baloyi, he confided in Beaumont and asked him to urge Mashaba to prioritise united public engagements.

“Well, today I met with Herman and Michael and I told them that I applied my mind. [I told them that] I have engaged with many leaders as well, and I have taken a decision to decline their offer and subsequently I am resigning from the party.

“I think that [was] the big moment for me,” he told a media conference.

To read more political news and views, click here.

Follow @SundayWorldZA on Twitter and @sundayworldza on Instagram, or like our Facebook Page, Sunday World, by clicking here for the latest breaking news in South Africa. To Subscribe to Sunday World, click here

Latest News