Former DA leader Mmusi Maimane and the party’s former mayor of Johannesburg Herman Mashaba will kick off nationwide meetings with South Africans “about the future and the kind of country we have to build”.
The discussions are set to take place in January and February, and all the inputs will be combined.
It is expected that the new movement will be launched in March.
Maimane returned on Saturday from a trip to the US and UK, where he spoke at a number of conferences.
He told City Press’ sister publication Rapport that they will meet with people in all provinces, and will focus on South Africans from different communities.
“I think the country needs a new movement. At this point, I don’t believe we need a new political party – rather, a movement of South Africans who believe in the same values and want to build on those values.
“That’s what I’m focusing on. Party number 49 in the line of parties is not going to do the country much good.”
In conjunction with this, Mashaba launched The People’s Dialogue on Friday, a platform to enter into conversations with South Africans from all walks of life to build a South Africa that everyone can be proud of.
Mashaba said that, just like many other South Africans, he had lost faith in the political system.
“Nothing demonstrates this better than the events that have taken place across the country in the city’s big metros over the past few days.
“Through it all, I came to the conclusion that political parties and politicians act in their own self-interests as the primary driving force in decision-making, and not in the interest of ordinary South Africans,” said Mashaba on Friday.
A video about The People’s Dialogue has been uploaded to YouTube.
Maimane said there had been an unbelievable response to the campaign, adding that South Africans had realised that the existing political parties had failed them.
“Now they are asking what one can do about it. I say, let’s start a movement and begin discussing it. Right across the country, people are saying they are open to speaking to me. For me, that’s a very positive sign.”
A big issue on the agenda will be the country’s electoral system.
“One of the biggest problems is that political leaders are not accountable to anyone,” he said.
After the discussions, the suggestions will be discussed and the movement will decide what needs to be done.
The United Democratic Front was a movement before 1994 and did not participate in politics, said Maimane.
“If it’s just politics for the sake of politics, we can start a political party tomorrow, decide that the colour will be purple and steam ahead. What is the point of that? What we’d rather have is a movement consisting of all races and backgrounds; a movement that is accountable.”
Maimane said he would also meet with different communities.
“But it can’t just be me and Mashaba. We want to be a broad organisation – more people have to get involved.”
Regarding the chaos in Gauteng’s metros and the DA’s loss of the mayorship of Johannesburg, Maimane said it was a setback because people had voted for change.
“Success is not always a straight line, but people have to understand that the long-term success of our country lies with coalitions. It has to work; it is an international phenomenon. A one-party state delivers state capture.”