Former DA member and Midvaal mayor, Bongani Baloyi has joined the highest ranks of ActionSA.
The party, headed by Herman Mashaba, made the announcement in Johannesburg on Monday.
Baloyi who became South Africa’s youngest mayor for Midvaal in 2013 at age 26, resigned from the DA after 14 years in December last year.
Addressing a media briefing earlier, Baloyi said he was very excited and enthused by his latest political move.
“From the outset, I want to state that my joining ActionSA is not out of anger or disappointment. It is actually because of the hope they [ActionSA] invoke in me,” he said.
Baloyi said that this was a very significant moment in South Africa as he believed it was the start of a realignment of the country's politics, and South Africans of all capabilities and diversity needed to join hands and work together against the ANC.
“We have one enemy and that enemy is the African National Congress,” he said.
“Our country needs to be rescued and it's for the capable South Africans to say we will not be despondent any longer. We are going to step up and get into the ring and fight for a South Africa that can deliver a prosperous future for all,” he said.
Baloyi added that he was very proud of his record with the DA and the work he did while in the party. He also expressed his gratitude to the residents of Midvaal.
Mashaba said that Baloyi would be appointed to serve on one of ActionSA’s highest bodies - the senate.
Mashaba said his joining did not take place in a vacuum.
“One of the features that impressed me about Baloyi was my engagements with him when I launched ActionSA, and I sought to bring him into the party. He remained committed to see out his term of office for the people of Midvaal, even if he was politically willing, and he wanted to leave with dignity.
“For ActionSA to grow we will need more leaders with their own voices bringing the kind of skills, experience, youthfulness and excellence that Baloyi epitomises,” Mashaba said.
While running the Midvaal Municipality, Baloyi received seven consecutive clean audits. Under his leadership, the municipality went from being the 16th best-performing municipality in 2013 to the fifth best in the national rankings.
Baloyi managed to create what has been referred to as a service delivery and governance blueprint.
Midvaal Local Municipality is part of Sedibeng District Municipality and is surrounded by some of the worst-performing municipalities in the country, Emfuleni and Lesedi.
Former auditor-general, the late Kimi Makwetu, once exclaimed that Midvaal was one of the few municipalities whose financial statements told a good story of how well the municipality was managed.