Why I'm joining the DA - Herman Mashaba

Businessman says economy not performing, racism is rife and corruption deeply embedded in our society

Statement from Herman Mashaba

Today, I am announcing my decision to join the Democratic Alliance (DA) political party as an ordinary card-carrying member. At the same time I am standing down as Chairman of the Free Market Foundation (FMF) to preserve the political neutrality of this important organisation.

I have decided to join the DA and give my support and commitment to helping the party to achieve power. It is our best chance of delivering a better life for all in our lifetime. The DA is not a perfect party, but politics is not a game of perfect. The DA has delivered in the Western Cape, certainly better than the others in the rest of the country.

My decision has not been influenced by discussions with individuals in the political process. It was made before discussions took place. I have requested no position in the DA party, but will promote their cause from the grass roots. I realise that my entry into the DA will cause discussion. I hope it does. I also truly hope that my move will unchain and inspire like-minded South Africans to take an active interest in the future of our country. Our democracy is new and it allows all of us to be players. 

Twenty years after democracy unemployment is at record levels, the economy is not performing against benchmarks or our peers, racism is rife and has become the daily language of the ruling party and corruption is deeply embedded in the public and private sectors.  The rule of law is under threat, there is little accountability and the constituent parts of the Alliance have conflicting ideologies.

My announcement today is an endorsement of the principles of non-racialism, a healthy market economy which delivers on jobs, a smaller and more effective government dedicated to a constructive partnership with business and eventually a direct democracy where every politician is held personally accountable for their performance and behaviour. I support a free-enterprise economy because capitalism's success, attributable to entrepreneurship and innovation, is that it is the true creator of jobs and the best way of spreading prosperity, particularly amongst the less privileged.

It is with regret that I must stand down from leading the FMF, but it is important that this proud organisation remains politically impartial in its vital work.

Statement issued by Herman Mashaba, May 27 2014

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