The Civic Movement of South Africa (CMOSA) is a newly established civic movement in the South African political sphere. It came about as a result of the engagement of ordinary citizens on social media, then through physical meetings around the country. Ordinary citizens from all walks of life and across political, social, religious, gender, racial, and other divides engaged vociferously on matters of social importance that affected and impacted on their lives politically.
In their daily engagements, including on social media, ordinary citizens voiced their valuable opinions and views regarding the current unfolding political and economic scenario. It has been evident that politically and economically, our country is fast heading for the dustbin. The factor that mostly galvanised our society into action, was the Nkandla matter. This was an incident that opened the citizenry's eyes as to the rampant corruption and blatant looting of state assets that were taking place under our very noses. We became aware of the notorious Gupta family that was pulling the strings in the whole matter, having turned most, if not all, government institutions and some senior public representatives into puppets doing their biddings.
This led to the very resolute South African society engaging in mass action that took the form of marches as South Africans came out in numbers across the racial and political divides to protest against this naked looting. We also noted with disbelief as government, led by the governing party, went on the defensive to protect suspected looters. Society vented its anger and displeasure at these turn of events by voting in such a manner that no single political party was given outright majority in the four metros which are, JHB, EKURHULENI, TSHWANE and NELSON MANDELA BAY, in the 2016 Local government elections. This was the first time since the new dispensation that these metros were run by coalition governments.
The country suffered a sequence of economic downgrades and the investigation led by the then Public Protector, Adv Thuli Madonsela, revealed the rot that was prevalent in the government and SOEs. This included the exposure of a number of high-ranking senior civil servants to have been involved in enabling and, possibly, benefitting from the rot.
We became aware of the limited powers that opposition political parties had in stopping such blatant abuse of political power. We realised then that the country's problem was the ineffective manner in which our country was governed, and the bottomline solution therefore to the problem became apparent as the removal of this ineffective governance. Since ours is a Constitutional Democracy, the implication is that this can only happen during an election process that will take place in the year 2019. It has also dawned on us during such deliberations as stated above that, as society, we cannot solely rely on political parties since none amongst them has demonstrated the desire to place the interests of the country ahead of its own.
It became apparent that the probability is that after the 2019 General Elections, there is the likelihood that we are going to end up with a coalition government. Society needs to understand that resolution of the country's pressing issues should be spearheaded by communities. In a general sense it implies that the mandate regarding what is a problem and how it should be resolved, should come from communities to different levels of government; local, provincial or national. In other words, there should be a bottom-up approach in dealing with matters of governance rather than a top-down approach, as is currently the case, which has led to a "nanny state" that our government has become.
All these developments led to our resolve to form a civic association that would best respond to the needs of South Africans by leading a bottoms-up approach to government decision-making in South Africa. It remains our strongest feeling that South Africans need strong societal representation in Parliament, Provincial Legislatures and Councils, that would act as a "VOICE OF REASON FOR ALL THE CITIZENS OF SOUTH AFRICA" among the ever-bickering political parties.
CMOSA marks the advent of CIVIC MOVEMENT participation and leadership in South African politics. It is the start of a new era.
All South Africans should be willing to learn this Declaration of Allegiance to our country and countrymen alike: I pledge allegiance to the Republic of South Africa, to uphold and protect The Constitution of South Africa at all times. I am part of this nation which will stand unified with freedom and justice for all.