Early Days

The Patriotic Alliance (PA) was launched in 2013 as a response to the many challenges plaguing communities throughout South Africa.

This included raging gang violence on the Cape Flats, particularly in Manenberg, where children were being caught daily in the crossfire of warring gangs. Clearly something was very wrong with the fabric of South African society if the innocent could die on such a large scale with barely any concern being shown by authorities.

PA leaders dedicated themselves to bringing the warring factions together and agreeing to a fragile peace. It was clear, though, that the bloodshed was a symptom of the greater problem, which is South Africa itself.

Without fixing the country and its politics, there would be no lasting peace, no lasting progress and no hope.

Where we Started

The PA was born in the heart of the coloured community and its pain, but we are a multiracial party that is fighting for a better future for all the country’s children. For too long, South Africa has been repressed by identity politics and parties that speak only for their constituencies instead of truly growing a country that can be a better home for all its citizens.

In November 2013, the first group of patriots convened in a hall in Paarl, Western Cape, to elect the party’s first leaders, which included our co-founder, and co-funder, Gayton McKenzie, as president. Our later deputy president, Kenny Kunene, was elected as the first secretary-general.

The PA contested our first by-election, in Vredendal, at the start of 2014, coming third with 23%. We were not able to convert this on the national or provincial level at the 2014 elections but we did not lose heart or hope and were determined to keep fighting for the growth of the PA.

Early Growth

In 2016, the PA had our first electoral breakthrough, winning five seats – four of them in metros: Johannesburg, Nelson Mandela Bay and Ekurhuleni and Cape Town. This led to the party’s exposure to coalition governance, as we found ourselves in coalitions at different times in three of these metros.

Although the PA did not grow in the 2019 elections, our popularity exploded in the 2021 local government elections when we came away with more than 80 seats. We now have nearly 90 seats throughout South Africa after winning another five by-elections.

A Coalition Player

The PA has gained enormous prominence through its participation in numerous coalition governments at a local level since 2021. The most well-known example is leader McKenzie’s 13-month term as the executive mayor of the Central Karoo. During that time he exemplified the attributes of servant leadership that the PA stands for. He gave his salary to charity, did not use the municipal credit card, did not use state bodyguards or the municipal vehicle or benefit from any other perks. He raised charitable funds for various causes, including the refurbishment of most of the district’s municipal pools. He undertook to remove the bucket toilet system and replace it with flushing toilets within his first 100 days, a feat that was achieved. The community of Leeu-Gamka also received clean water for the first time, without a single cent being spent from the municipality.

The PA is represented in the executive of numerous local governments, including Johannesburg, Emfuleni, Rand West, JB Marks, Mangaung, Kimberley, Nelson Mandela Bay, Theewaterskloof, Beaufort-West, Central Karoo, Laingsburg, Knysna and Bitou.

The party’s experience in government has prepared it for the greater challenge of governing at provincial and national level in 2024 and beyond. Coalition governance has proven to bring much frustration along the way, especially as parties tussle for their governance programmes to be prioritised and funded. Nevertheless, PA deployees’ single-minded determination to deliver services and change for communities remains at all times.

Our support in 2021 made the PA South Africa’s seventh-largest party by vote share. The party has continued its growth trajectory exponentially since then. Its community campaigns of doing service delivery work through volunteerism continue to meet with goodwill everywhere it goes.

South Africa First

The PA has taken a hardline stance against the illegal activities of undocumented migrants. From manning the country’s border, and turning illegal immigrants back, to inspecting unregistered foreign-owned spaza shops in townships to guard against poor and expired goods, the party remains serious about its pledge to get South Africa working again, for all South Africans.

The PA's unique path

The past decade has proven many things – but one thing most of all – the PA never gives up and its story is an inspiring one of staying true to the cause and the vision despite having to grow slowly and painfully over many years. It took nearly eight years before the PA had its first major breakthrough in 2021. The PA’s trajectory is therefore the opposite of that of many promising new political parties who emerge with great fanfare and support prior to elections, and then receive a large share of the vote – only to decline rapidly from there.

The PA has gained strength through resilience, hard work and persistence – not overnight success. This means the PA can be trusted to remain strong against whatever political winds may come. It can be trusted to stand through all travails, for the future of our children.

It is not driven by opportunism, hollow promises and populist excitement. It is founded on the bedrock of true patriotism.



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