Johannesburg - Former ActionSA provincial chairperson Bongani Baloyi said he was breathing fresh air into the South African political space by announcing the formation of a new youth political party.
Baloyi announced Xiluva as the new kid on the block in the political space. He said this party was unique because it was centred on values such as Ubuntu, family, non-racialism, and ethical leadership.
He said Xiluva will offer young people the chance to determine their own futures through the platform that the party will give them. Young people between the ages of 18 and 45 were Xiluva’s target.
“Whilst young people’s lives further deteriorate, they are the ones leading mobilisation of political parties and swelling political party membership. Young people in politics remain displaced and frustrated by gatekeepers and are reduced to insignificant participants,” he said.
Baloyi was one of the youngest mayors in the country while he was at the helm of the Midvaal municipality, which has become known all over the country for clean governance.
“My political journey is a public record for everyone to interrogate and consume. Throughout my time in politics, I have sought to champion a cause that is beyond me. This is a cause that affirms youth leadership and confirms to everyone that young people can lead and must lead,” he said.
There had been concerns that the name of the party could reflect a sense of a culturist organisation, but Baloyi said all South Africans of all races and tribes were welcome in the party. The name of the party means “flower” in one of South Africa’s indigenous languages, Tsonga.
“The name is strategic, Xiluva, which is a flower, and if you look at our logo, it’s a protea, which is a flower that is known to withstand wildfires, and that is a representation of our country, and even the two hands that are coming together are symbolic of the unity our country needs; all South Africans are welcome,” he said.
Baloyi said his party was preparing to contest the upcoming national elections next year. This means that he has a few months to launch structures in different provinces. But Baloyi said this was a challenge he was willing to take on.
“Xiluva will contest in the 2024 national and provincial government elections. Our work is cut out for us; we don’t have time on our side. We are clear about the ground we need to traverse in order to package our offer,” he said.
Baloyi said before launching his party that there was no party that was founded on the values that his party was offering. He said many South Africans had been asking for an alternative to the ANC, and he said that is what Xiluva was offering.
“South Africans wanted an alternative, and I think this is the alternative they have been waiting for,” he said.
Baloyi said he was aware that the party could fail but said he was willing to try again until he gets it right.
The former ActionSA leader had left the DA in hopes of having a successful career, but tensions between him and party leader Herman Mashaba led to Baloyi’s resignation.