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Rise Mzansi 'will get 7.5% of the vote', a confident Songezo Zibi declares


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Rise Mzansi 'will get 7.5% of the vote', a confident Songezo Zibi declares

Image of Songezo Zibi
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Rise Mzansi leader Songezo Zibi

27th November 2023

By: News24Wire


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Rise Mzansi leader Songezo Zibi is on the campaign trail and bullish about getting as much as 1.8-million votes in the party's first election next year.

Addressing a public meeting in Cape Town last week, Zibi said he was "confident that if we keep growing at this rate, we will get 7.5% of the vote", which translates into about 30 seats in the National Assembly.


Opposition parties will be crucial in forming a coalition government after the 2024 general election if the African National Congress (ANC) scores below 50%, as projected.

Zibi, a former executive and editor, launched Rise Mzansi in April with former Democratic Alliance (DA) youth leader and MP Makashule Gana, young activists and business leaders.


According to Zibi, Rise Mzansi is signing up over 20 000 new supporters per week, who pledge to vote for the party.

He said there was a time when he was worried that the party's message wasn't landing, but is now "scared" about the rapid growth over the past few weeks.

"We've got a machinery, we are building a movement," he said, claiming that Rise Mzansi has 200 full-time organisers and 10 000 volunteers working in communities across South Africa.

"We have crossed the Rubicon. The rate at which we are growing scares me. If we grow at this rate, we are likely to have about 1.8million [members] by April. "Zibi says he is building a "long-term dream. We are not telling people that we are going to win the election next year and sort them out". Instead, the party is "really going for [the election in] 2029; we will get a majority in 2029 if we stay honest to what we do. People don't understand how weak the ANC is, even in areas where they are perceived to be strong.

"He says the people he speaks to are tired of "old politics" and are no longer interested in empty promises from politicians.

"I ask them: 'What are the issues in your community?' Because they know best."

Zibi says some pundits tell him: "You are too reasonable, you cannot be a politician". To which he says: "Well, 28-million people aren't voting because politicians are behaving in a buffoonish way; they are not serious, so people don't take them seriously."

He has no plans of bringing in any veteran ANC leaders on board to bolster Rise Mzansi's image."...People are tired of these old ANC guys.

The country has changed, you can't excite them with old ANC politicians anymore.

The country has moved on from the ANC as the centre of South African society."Zibi says his party does not define itself in terms of the ANC or the DA: "You cannot excite people with fear and division.

We are saying people must never again place a political party at the centre of their lives."And so he is campaigning on values."Politicians think vision doesn't matter, that people are stupid. The two most popular topics at our convention were community and nation-building … People want to see new thinking.

"Zibi says Rise Mzansi knows the names and numbers of each of their supporters and will "take them to the ballot box next year".

He scored 2% in a recent favourability poll by the Social Research Foundation, suggesting that he was largely unknown by the majority of the 1 500 participants. In the same poll, Zibi had a 74% unfamiliarity rate.


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