Presenting ActionSA’s Team Fix South Africa

Members of the media,

Fellow Actioners,

And my fellow South Africans,

Today marks an important moment for ActionSA on our mission to fix South Africa.

Today it is my honour to announce ‘Team Fix South Africa,’ a team of candidates that we have assembled as part of our Parliamentary list that stand ready to address the greatest challenges facing our nation.

These candidates will form part of a caucus that hails from diverse backgrounds, coming from both urban and rural communities, the public and private sector, and academic and civil society. They represent the best of the South African people.

Our candidates were selected following a gruelling selection process that saw people from outside of politics putting up their hands to take action to build a better country for our people.

They bring with them the level of skill and expertise needed for ActionSA to turn around the decay which took place under the ruling party and restore South Africa to a path of prosperity.

With their announcement today, we want to demonstrate to the South African people that we are not a party hallmarked by career politicians with no real-world experience in the portfolios they are meant to lead.

This is in stark contrast to the political establishment who fill parliament seats with party loyalists who would never be hired in the private sector.

No. ActionSA’s depth of leadership reflects a parliamentary caucus with the skills necessary to enter government and fix South Africa. We are a party that is ready to take action, because only action will fix South Africa.

Fellow South Africans,

The ‘Team Fix South Africa’ we are presenting today forms part of ActionSA’s commitment to streamline the Executive and revise the Ministerial Handbook. Our objective is to form a lean and efficient executive that prioritises performance over patronage, and public service over perks.

Given the mandate to govern, an ActionSA administration would reduce the number of national government departments to approximately 20, and eliminate the position of deputy minister in all departments.

We would reduce the benefits ministers receive, including excessive catering and travel allowances, slash the budget for VIP protection, and ensure that ministers are always transparent to the South African people about the actions they take.

At a time of fiscal constraint and a cost of living crisis that is ravaging our nation, the perks of ministers should be slashed before any other budgetary cuts. Leaders must set an example for fiscal responsibility.

This will save the South African government hundreds of millions in expenditure which can be reprioritised to frontline service delivery.

Fellow South Africans,

Today I also want to commit that an ActionSA government will be appointed based on merit, and not political connections.

Whether ActionSA governs with a majority, or in coalition, we will be uncompromising on ensuring that we appoint the best persons to cabinet positions who have real-world experience in the portfolios they are supposed to lead.

We will not engage in cadre deployment, nepotism and cronyism. We will only appoint people on merit and with impeccable track records with a commitment to clean governance and service delivery.

Today, we are not paying lip service to our commitment to ethical leaders, but putting words to action. Because, only action will fix South Africa.

While other political leaders may make space for compromised leaders within their ranks, ActionSA is unwavering in our commitment that our leaders must be above reproach.

All our candidates have undergone an extensive and rigorous selection process. We spent countless hours interviewing candidates and scoring tests to ensure that we only send the best people possible to parliament to possibly fill cabinet positions.

We didn’t seek to only find prominent candidates but to find people who possess the necessary qualifications and expertise to tackle our most pressing issues.

ActionSA wanted to ensure that don’t hire career politicians to key positions in cabinet and government, but people who have real-world experience of the portfolios they were intended to leave.

We wanted to ensure that where we have someone in the education portfolio, that person is an education expert who has experience in turning around educational institutions.

We wanted to ensure that where someone leads the finance portfolio, they are a chartered accountant who knows how to balance the books.

For healthcare, we wanted to ensure we have a doctor; under the police portfolio, we have a former captain of police; under agriculture, we have a former farmer; and under justice, we have an advocate who would be leading our interventions.

While under the political establishment, parliament may have become a retirement village for many, ActionSA wanted to ensure we invigorate our caucus with people who have real-world experience.

The ‘Team Fix South Africa’ we are therefore presenting today is not a long list of career politicians, but people who have worked in the industries they are being appointed to lead.

Who better to lead these ministries and departments than the people who have been practising in these fields, and who possess the skills we need to fix South Africa?

Fellow South Africans,

It gives me great joy to unveil some of the candidates to represent ActionSA in parliament following the May 29 elections.

They will be announced in no particular order. They form part of ActionSA’s ‘Team Fix South Africa’, and have been appointed in specific portfolios to ensure we can hit the ground running when we enter government.

They represent some of the most patriotic South Africans who are committed to undoing the legacy of the current cruel and uncaring government.

Those who form part of ‘Team Fix South Africa’ have already served this country in the public and private sector for many years, and are now ready to take that contribution further.

They represent some of the best minds and skills we have in the country today.

It gives me great joy to announce ‘Team Fix South Africa’ member for Land and Agriculture, Athol Trollip. Trollip will also serve as our Leader of Executive Business in Parliament.

He has a long track record in public service, having previously served as the mayor of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality, and as parliamentary leader of the official opposition in the national assembly.

He studied Agricultural Management at the University of Natal, today known as the University of KwaZulu-Natal, in Pietermaritzburg, after which he travelled abroad working as a student farmer in Australia, New Zealand and Scotland.

And he farmed his family farm in Bedford for over 20 years where he was Chairman of the Farmers Association. He is well placed not only to lead the business of an ActionSA government in parliament but to ensure that agriculture and land reform receive the attention it deserves.

It gives me great joy to announce ‘Team Fix South Africa’ member for Basic Education, Dr Tsholofelo Maforah.

Her academic journey reflects her commitment to continuous learning, with a PhD, Master’s and Bachelor’s in Education Management and Leadership, and diplomas in Science and Counselling.

Her PhD thesis explored the complexities of job satisfaction among principals and educators in previously disadvantaged secondary schools. And as a consultant, she led projects to evaluate and fix schools across the country.

Dr Maforah’s professional career reflects the skills necessary to lead the portfolio, currently serving as the Dean of Academics at Damelin College and CT College.

I have confidence in Dr Maforah to fix the education system that has failed our children.

Next, it gives me great joy to announce ‘Team Fix South Africa’ member for Higher Education, Dr. Tutu Faleni.

With over three decades of experience in navigating the education landscape, in both academic and professional pursuits, Dr. Faleni is an accomplished education expert with the skills necessary to fix Higher Education and ensure we expand access.

Dr. Faleni holds a BA (Hons) from the University of the Witwatersrand, a Master of Education in Educational Management from the University of Johannesburg and a Doctor of Philosophy, along with additional Postgraduate Qualifications in Governance and Leadership.

Dr. Faleni has also served as a Member of the North West Provincial Legislature and lectured at both the University of South Africa and North West University.

He has first-hand experience in the challenges facing our higher education institutions, and the knowledge to take action to fix them.

It gives me great joy to announce ‘Team Fix South Africa’ member for International Relations, Solly Moeng.

Moeng is an accomplished communications expert, outspoken political commentator, and columnist, who has long spoken out against the rot that has led to South Africa’s decline.

Moeng holds a BA Degree majoring in French and Linguistics from the University of Witwatersrand, and a master’s degree from a French University.

With his experience in tourism marketing, lecturing at the EU Business School, and recognition as a well-versed commentator on South Africa’s political issues.

He brings with him the international experience necessary for the portfolio to ensure that we are able to fix South Africa’s international reputation.

More importantly, he was what it takes to fix our damaged international image and ensure that we restore South Africa as a flagbearer of human rights.

It gives me great joy to announce ‘Team Fix South Africa’ member for Economic Development, Pieter Scribante. 

Scribante is a distinguished economist and political scientist, renowned for his expertise in macroeconomic forecasting, economic impact assessment, and political-economic risk analysis.

With a robust educational background encompassing esteemed institutions such as The London School of Economics, the University of Pretoria, and Fordham University, Pieter has honed his skills and knowledge in various facets of economics and international relations.

As a Senior Economist at Oxford Economics Africa, Pieter serves as a principal analyst for Nigeria and Mauritius while covering a myriad of other African economies. His contributions include the development of the Oxford Economics Africa Political Economic Risk model, a groundbreaking tool for quantitatively assessing policy risks across the continent.

His research has been published in academic journals, and he has received accolades such as the Best Economic Forecaster award and the Founder’s Medal for Best Economics Research in South Africa.

Unlike the many ministers who have failed to grow our economy, Scribante has the knowledge and expertise to place us on a path to economic prosperity.

Growing the economy goes hand in hand with fixing our energy crisis and ending load shedding. It thus gives me great joy to announce ‘Team Fix South Africa’ member for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mpho Madisha. 

Madisha is a qualified mechanical engineer who has extensive experience in engineering education, science policy, and project management. He has hands-on experience in the design of nuclear energy production systems and hydrogen production systems.

Having served as an engineering lecturer at the University of Pretoria, Madisha served on the ministerial committee to evaluate the effectiveness of the National System of Innovation. He has also worked at the National Energy Research Group as a nuclear research assistant in the Netherlands.

He was also a board member of the Black Science, Technology and Engineering Professionals group which sought to expand the number of black professionals working in STEM industries.

Madisha has the experience and knowledge that those who had caused the energy crisis lack.

It gives me great joy to announce ‘Team Fix South Africa’ member for Infrastructure and Public Enterprises, Michael Beaumont.

Similar to the experience needed to fix energy, we have someone with the experience to oversee an extensive project of infrastructure investment into the critical areas of roads, water, rail, ports, energy and human settlements. This is the economic infrastructure we need to grow our economy.

Beaumont holds a BA (Hons) in Politics and Environmental Science from Rhodes University and has completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from Wits Business School.

More importantly, he served as my Chief of Staff in the City of Johannesburg during my term as Mayor where he led a team that oversaw the largest municipal budget in South Africa. He played a critical role in redirecting R2 billion of wasteful expenditure to infrastructure priorities and expanding our capital investment program through the Diphetogo initiative – a program that saw us direct wasteful expenditure to the core infrastructure departments that needed it most.

He was also central to the process of signing of Memorandum of Understanding with municipal unions, ensuring that strikes were a thing of the past.

Since the 2021 local government elections, Beaumont has been ActionSA’s point person in managing the coalitions in which we are involved and was himself central to the construction of the Multi-Party Charter.

As someone with experience in both public sector management and political management, he has what it takes to unlock the blockages facing our infrastructure decay.

Alongside functional economic infrastructure, we need a healthy population to ensure prosperity.

Thus, it gives me great joy to announce ‘Team Fix South Africa’ member for Health, Dr. Kgosi Letlape.

Dr. Letlape founded the Africa Medical Association and has served as the president of the Health Professionals Council of South Africa, Chairman of the South African Medical Association, President of the World Medical Association, and Executive Director of the Tshepang Trust. Additionally, he currently holds a position as a member of The Global Hygiene Council.

He has made history by becoming the first black ophthalmologist in South Africa. The wealth of his expertise has been instrumental in the development of ActionSA’s healthcare policy, culminating in an expert-led process that relied on engagements with healthcare leaders like Dr. Letlape.

Having co-founded the Africa Harm Reduction Alliance, which focuses on creating awareness and educating people about the need to reduce harm and promote well-being, Dr Letlape is well-equipped to realise our vision where healthcare is not only reactive but also proactively managed to improve the quality of life of our people.

Along with healthcare, we will take a laser-like focus on community welfare, including drugs and substance abuse.

It gives me great joy to announce ‘Team Fix South Africa’ member for Social Development, Nothukhela Mahkohliso.

As a person with physical disabilities, she brings a unique perspective necessary to address the various social ills and marginalisation facing many South Africans.

Makhohliso holds certificates and diplomas in Disability Rights, Public Leadership, and Social Media Marketing from various institutions including the Centre for Human Rights, the University of Pretoria, and the Apolitical Academy Southern Africa.

Her journey in education and community development is underscored by her role as the Brand Custodian and Marketing Manager at Cape Peninsula University of Technology, where she contributed significantly to the Graduate School of Business Management.

Acting as the Project Manager for The Graduate Centre of Management, she played a pivotal role in establishing the brand, developing marketing strategies, and fostering stakeholder relationships.

As an activist for social issues, and someone who knows these issues first-hand, I can think of no one better to lead this portfolio.

It gives me great joy to announce ‘Team Fix South Africa’ member for Substance Abuse, Dereleen James.

Her inspiring anti-drug and social activism distinguishes her as a true advocate for the empowerment of communities.

Her activism led her to be appointed by the Minister of Sports, Arts, and Culture as a board member of the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport. She has also been appointed by the Minister of Social Development as a board member of the Central Drug Authority and is a member of the SAPS National Anti-Drug and Gangsterism Priority Forum.

James authored the “Dear Dad” Open Letter, which garnered widespread outcry for urgent intervention to stop the scourge of gang violence. This led to the Former President personally visiting Eldorado Park, where he acknowledged her continued fight.

James founded The Yellow Ribbon Foundation, a non-profit organisation, and registered community-based centre, dedicated to strengthening the fight against substance abuse through educational, faith-based, community and social entrepreneurial initiatives.

Central to fighting substance abuse is fighting the drug dealers that fuel this problem.

It gives me great joy to announce ‘Team Fix South Africa’ member for Justice & Correctional Services, Advocate Julie Seton.

Advocate Seton holds a LLB from the University of South Africa and a National Certificate in Municipal Financial Management from Stellenbosch University.

She has a distinguished legal career, including serving as the Director of the University of the Orange Free State Legal Aid Clinic and later establishing and successfully running her own legal practice with extensive expertise in both civil and criminal litigation.

Advocate Seton, aside from her accomplished legal background, brings to the table a breadth of experience in local governance. She has served as the Speaker of the Knysna Council, where she has nurtured a well-versed understanding of municipal governance.

Advocate Seton knows our justice system intimately and knows what needs to be done to fix it.

It gives me great joy to announce ‘Team Fix South Africa’ member for Law & Order, Thuli Khoza.

Khoza joined the South African Police Service in 1986 where she served in various roles, from detective services to administration.

She contributed to the launch of the Police Prison Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) and has a commitment to community policing and trust-building between law enforcement and communities.

She was previously also involved with the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA) and later served as the Chief Security Officer at Kruger National Park from 2015 to 2016.

In a country where fighting crime must be a top priority, we need someone with knowledge of policing to turn around a police service.

It gives me great joy to announce ‘Team Fix South Africa’ member for Defence, Mohammed Rafeek Shah. 

Shah’s political journey is marked by a profound commitment to the struggle for freedom and social justice. Beginning with his involvement in the ANC in 1975, where he spent 17 years in political exile, Mohammed has been a steadfast advocate for progressive change.

Upon his return in 1988, he actively participated in the UDF, contributing to the fight against apartheid.

Shah’s academic qualifications underscore his deep understanding of religious studies and theology, with degrees ranging from Bachelor’s to Master’s levels in Islamic Studies, Arabic Language & Literature, and Theology. He has served in both the provincial and national legislatures where he made invaluable contributions.

He served as a former Shadow Minister for Defence where he served on the parliamentary select committee on Defence and Security.

In his social life, Shah’s commitment to fostering religious harmony and community cohesion is evident through his roles as a member of the SJU Islamic Council of Theologians and as the esteemed Imam of the Raza Mosque in Phoenix.

It gives me great joy to announce ‘Team Fix South Africa’ member for Home Affairs, Lerato Ngobeni.

Securing our borders and fixing the dysfunctional Department of Home Affairs is critical to restoring the rule of law.

Ngobeni is an experienced program manager and sustainability specialist who has worked in both corporate South Africa and civil society organisations, including Murray & Roberts Limited; African Access Holdings; the Royal Bafokeng Nation, Nelson Mandela and Hanns Seidel Foundations; Harvard University Center for African Studies, Africa Office; Safer South Africa Foundation, the Mike (Masingita) Nkuna Charitable Trust and ReimagineSA.

She holds a BA (Hons) in Political Science & Government Summa Cum Laude from Johnson C Smith University, North Carolina, USA, and is an alumnus of the Thabo Mbeki Leadership Institute.

She is a Councillor in the City of Johannesburg and served with distinction as Chairperson of the Section 79 Environment, Infrastructure and Services Oversight Committee. Lerato is also ActionSA National Spokesperson.

She understands the importance of securing our borders, but also the need to ensure that we place the government and not immigrants at the centre of the problem.

It gives me great joy to announce ‘Team Fix South Africa’ member for Public Service, Nompumelelo Edward.

Underlying a functional government is a functional civil service.

Edward’s track record as a public servant at the coalface of service delivery speaks for itself about why she’s the best person to lead the portfolio.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences and a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing from the University of Cape Town. She also has a Postgraduate Degree in Small Business and Entrepreneurship, an MBA from Regenesys Business School and is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Zululand.

Edwards spent many years working as a manager at the South African Revenue Service where she helped it fulfil its core mandate and therefore has experience in public service.

And as a Councillor in the City of Johannesburg, Edward serves on the Economic Development Committee where she has championed a number of socio-economic issues affecting South Africans, including expanding opportunities for women.

I have no doubt that Edwards has the required public service understanding to ensure that we restore a spirit of excellence and service delivery in our public service.

It gives me great joy to announce ‘Team Fix South Africa’ member for Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs, Sello Lediga.

He studied education at Turfloop, today known as the University of Limpopo and became active in student politics within the Azanian Students Organisation, before serving as a leader on the SRC.

His involvement in organising student protests against Apartheid resulted in his detention in 1985 during which he experienced the brutality and injustice of the Apartheid security apparatus.

Lediga proceeded to become a lecturer at the Sekhukhune College of Education where he proceeded to obtain his Honours in History. In 1994, Lediga became the Director of Education in Limpopo, before leaving to enter business where he gained experience in IT, agriculture, consulting and furniture manufacturing.

And in 2022, he joined ActionSA where he served as our Limpopo provincial chairperson. With experience as a public representative and close ties to traditional leadership, I am confident that Lediga will ensure this portfolio receives the attention it deserves.

Finally, it gives me great joy to announce ‘Team Fix South Africa’ member for Finance, Alan Beesley.

No government can function without money and a responsible fiscal policy. That is why I have left our Finance Team Member for last.

Beesley is a qualified Chartered Accountant and holds a Master’s Degree in Development Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, skills essential to managing the finance portfolio.

He is an accomplished businessman who before the 2021 local government elections took on the fight to save South Africa. Beesley joined ActionSA to undo the decay in his home city of Durban where has served as an ActionSA Councillor in the eThekwini Municipality.

Having owned and managed a successful private company and served on numerous boards and committees, Beesley brings with him a wealth of experience.

Beesly understands that government, like business, is about balancing the books. You can borrow without revenue, and you can spend without a plan to pay for that spending. I trust that Beesly has what it takes to restore our financial position and ensure that money is spent where it is needed most – frontline services and infrastructure investment.

Fellow South African,

Together these individuals form the ‘Team Fix South Africa’, headed by me, who ActionSA believes brings the necessary skills and experience for us to turn around South Africa and restore the country to a path of prosperity.

They represent the best of our country and are patriotic ethical South Africans who are committed to ensuring that all people in the country live better lives.

Unlike the political establishment, they aren’t here to earn big salaries but have put their hands up to do the work to bring action across South Africa.

From today on, they will hit their portfolios running to show South Africans what can be possible when an alternative government is elected into South Africa.

They will be active in our communities, and speak up for people and communities whose voices have been long forgotten. I invite members of the media to follow them in the weeks ahead as they spread the message of hope ActionSA has to offer.

‘Team Fix South Africa’ shows that ActionSA has the depth of leadership necessary to lead this country, and build a better future.

They show that it is possible to have a credible alternative in South Africa that is able to steer the country in a better direction compared to the past 30 years of failed ruling party rule.

But, for South Africa to achieve a different outcome than before, it will require that voters take action and vote for an alternative at the ballot box this year.

We cannot do the same thing and expect different outcomes. This is why ActionSA is presenting ‘Team Fix South Africa’ to provide a credible alternative to the current failed political establishment.

They show that a different future is possible. But for that to happen, it will require that voters take action at the ballot box this year.

Because, only action will fix South Africa. ‘Team Fix South Africa’, I now invite you to go out and help us fix South Africa.

I invite some of ActionSA’s ‘Team Fix South Africa’ to now address the media.

I thank you.