Action SA was founded ahead of the 2021 elections, however, its intentions to contest nationally were clipped when the IEC rejected its application to be recognised as a political party.
Action SA was founded by former Mayor of Johannesburg and Democratic Alliance (DA) member, Herman Mashaba in the third quarter of 2020. He introduced the movement while canvassing for members and prospective voters for the upcoming elections. During this time, he also started presenting the pillars which would govern his 2021 election campaign.
From the onset, Mashaba and Action SA took on the ruling party and raised concerns about its governance. Mashaba publicly lambasted Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe for his handling of the Lily Mine container retrieval saga. Additionally, Action SA criticised the ruling party for its handling of inner-city spaces and the deterioration thereof, clearly indicating some of its key focuses for the upcoming elections.
Shortly thereafter, Mashaba reported that Action SA had applied to be formally recognised as a political party with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) towards the end of September 2020. However, the application was rejected by the IEC. Initial speculation was that the rejection was because of an already registered political party with a significantly similar name. In response, Mashaba claimed that the Party of Action only changed its name to Party of Action SA after the launch of Action SA.
When the IEC released a statement on the matter, the name was not the only reason for the rejected application. The statement noted that the logo relied too heavily on the national flag, hence the rejection. Action SA supporters were quick to question why political parties such as COPE were accepted then.
Mashaba has publicly stated that he believes the rejection was politically motivated. He has suggested that the other political parties recognise the threat that his party poses, hence the push to disregard Action SA. In numerous posts on Twitter, Mashaba has vowed that the battle is not over, whilst continuing his efforts to gain more supporters.