Xiluva’s Bongani Baloyi – why former DA rising political star intends ‘flowering’ independently

After a sparkling career in the DA where, as executive mayor, he oversaw seven clean audits for Mid Vaal, Bongani Baloyi was a surprise departure – and even more surprising arrival at Action SA. Now the leader of his own political party, Xiluva, he shares the story with Alec Hogg of BizNews.Alec Hogg

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Relevant timestamps from the interview

  • 00:09 – Introductions
  • 00:57 – Bongani Baloyi on what Xiluva means
  • 05:13 – On his reasons for leaving the DA and ActionSA
  • 13:44 – On why he’s involved in the crazy game of politics
  • 15:49 – His views on the Multi Party Charter
  • 17:02 – On Xiluva’s targets
  • 19:03 – Xiluva’s target market
  • 21:26 – How they are getting funded
  • 23:25 – Where do Xiluva see themselves in 2024
  • 23:35 – Conclusions

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Highlights from the Interview

Introduction: In a recent interview with Alec Hogg of BizNews.com, Bongani Baloyi, the founder of Xiluva, a new political party in South Africa, discussed the party’s origins, goals, and his personal journey in the world of politics. Baloyi, a young and articulate leader, shared insights into the party’s formation, its unique approach, and the challenges it faces as it seeks to make a mark on South Africa’s political landscape.

A Unique Name with a Meaning: Xiluva, a name derived from the Tsonga language, means “flower.” According to Baloyi, the name symbolises the birth of their political party as a gift to the nation, much like nurturing a beautiful flower. The choice of a Tsonga name is significant, as it represents one of South Africa’s indigenous languages that has often been overlooked. Baloyi emphasized the importance of celebrating African diversity and heritage by naming the party in an African language.

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Baloyi’s Political Journey: Bongani Baloyi’s political journey has been marked by twists and turns. He began as an executive mayor of Midvaal at the age of 26, earning a reputation for seven clean audits. He was considered one of the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) rising stars but later left the party to join Action SA as the provincial head for Gauteng. Eventually, he left Action SA and founded Xiluva, his own political party.

Reasons for Departure from Other Parties: Baloyi’s departure from the DA was influenced by various factors, including a perception that the party was no longer aligned with his vision and the departure of key leaders. He also mentioned a regression in the DA’s ambition to become a government of the majority. Similarly, his exit from Action SA was due to differences with the party’s leader, Herman Mashaba, and a breakdown in their working relationship.

Baloyi’s Identity and Values: Baloyi’s distinctive appearance, including wearing a leopard skin headband, is an expression of his African heritage and cultural identity. He spoke about the need to reconcile his public and private personas, emphasising the importance of not assimilating other cultures at the expense of his own. His journey of self-discovery led him to prioritise embracing and preserving his heritage.

The Motivation to Enter Politics: Despite acknowledging the challenges and complexities of the political landscape, Baloyi is motivated by the belief that politics shapes all aspects of society, including the economy, and is essential for creating a better material environment for South Africans. He believes that committed and capable individuals are needed to navigate the political terrain and make a positive impact.

Xiluva’s Target Audience: Xiluva is attracting a diverse range of supporters, particularly young people, parents, and grandparents. Baloyi’s party focuses on addressing the concerns of the youth, such as high unemployment rates, while also recognising the impact of these issues on single-parent households and mothers.

Funding Xiluva: At present, Baloyi has been the primary funder of Xiluva, contributing approximately 230,000 rands of his own funds. The party’s low membership fee of 20 rand has also started generating income, with members purchasing merchandise and contributing financially to the party’s growth.

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Future Plans and Milestones: Xiluva’s immediate goal is to meet the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) preconditions, which require obtaining 15% of registered voters per province. This milestone will demonstrate the party’s ability to mobilise and engage with voters on the ground. Baloyi emphasised the importance of achieving this target to establish Xiluva’s credibility and relevance.

Conclusion: Bongani Baloyi’s journey from the DA to Action SA and ultimately founding Xiluva reflects his commitment to his values and vision for South Africa. Xiluva, with its focus on young people and preserving indigenous languages, presents a unique approach in the country’s political landscape. As the party works towards its goals, South Africans will be watching closely to see if Xiluva can become a significant force in the 2024 elections. Baloyi’s determination and dedication to his cause make him a notable figure in South African politics, and Xiluva’s growth will be closely monitored in the coming months.

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