Rise Mzansi promises new chapter of radical changes

Former editor and journalist Songezo Zibi has taken the high road towards mainstream politics with the launch of a new political party that promises to set South Africa on a path of “a reset, a new direction, new energy, and new leadership”.

Zibi launched RISE Mzansi in Johannesburg on Wednesday amid much fanfare.

He was also unveiled as the leader to take the infant party to the much-anticipated 2024 provincial and national elections.

In his maiden speech, Zibi said politicians who occupy public office are “unserious people who call themselves leaders” who are only interested in serving personal agendas instead of the needs and interests of those who elected them into office.

It was for this reason, he said, that he and other leaders of RISE Mzansi had taken a decision to bring about an alternative for voters.

As things stand, he said, the country has collapsed at all levels under the rule of the ANC.

“But then this crisis is no surprise because the political system is broken. Instead of a government of the people, by the people, for the people, we ended up with a government of political parties, by political parties, for political parties,” said Zibi.

“We are now paying the price. Our national politics today are like a used furniture shop. Every piece has been bought and sold numerous times.

“Every piece has been slept on, spilled on, stained, and ravaged by time. Some of it has even been stuffed with foreign objects – like illicit foreign currency.”

He continued: “Every piece has witnessed shady deals and false promises, whether whispered or screamed. At one time, this furniture was fit for purpose; now it needs to be cleaned out.

“The political establishment tells us that there is nothing wrong with our political system, and all that is needed is to remove the ANC.

“We cannot build a new future on a system that is unaccountable, unresponsive, corrupt, and removed from the people. We cannot use the same rules that delivered the unserious people who call themselves leaders today.”

Zibi said with the ANC failing to govern, the main opposition parties are reaching a “dead-end”, while the small opposition parties thrive on “crude sloganeering”.

RISE Mzansi is the much-needed breath of fresh air that will become the “unifying moment” the country has been longing for, he said.

According to him, the new party will seek to achieve the following:
● A fair society – where class, race, gender, or disability do not determine who succeeds in life and who doesn’t;
● A country governed by the rule of law, where life is not cheap, and the powerful are equally subject to the law;
● A country where economic justice, economic inclusion, economic growth, and investment are not opposing concepts but part of the same package that delivers a prosperous life and 
● A country where climate justice is about human wellbeing and protecting our natural environment.

It cannot be dominated by the fight between elites over coal and renewable contracts that we have now. Rural subsistence farmers are losing their livelihoods. People’s homes are destroyed by floods.

Former DA leader Makashule Gana is the most prominent politician among RISE Mzansi’s new national leadership.

Makashule has been appointed as the chief organiser and will oversee the party’s election machinery heading into the elections in 2024.

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