Home PodcastJulie Alli Rivonia Circle – Bringing citizens together to fix the nation

Rivonia Circle – Bringing citizens together to fix the nation

by Salaamedia Intern

South Africa – Rivonia Circle is an organisation with a clear mission to produce ideas and leaders that will turn South Africa into a modern, prosperous and just society. The organisation believes it is time for South Africans to take back what is theirs and hold politicians accountable for their actions. 

The Rivonia Circle does not intend on becoming a political party but rather a way for people to take ownership. According to Songezo Zibi, Chairman of the Rivonia Circle, this is the main idea behind their Rise Campaign. 

“We are now launching what we call the Rise Campaign. The Rise Campaign is premised on a full sense of ownership of the country. We must stop complaining about there not being leaders in the country. There are leaders in the country. They are just not in the right places. We have leaders in our communities, we have leaders in our work spaces and leaders in our social circles. We have leaders all over the country who are playing really important roles but not big enough roles as they should be playing. What we are saying now is that we need to find those people. We need to raise our hands as individuals and say we [are] going to solve problems in our community, make this a country wide issue and most importantly we are going to make this a movement.”


Rivonia Circle is not a political party but a movement 

The Rise Campaign is not a political party but a movement. It is about people coming together from all walks of life and different fields of work to produce ideas that will benefit the country. 

“In the end you will have a collection of people from different organisations, political parties, civic organisations and so on choosing the best among us to represent the South Africa. People have been profoundly disappointed in political parties. We now need to find the right people in our communities. They might come from different political parties and we are speaking to them right now so that we can work together.”

Rise Campaign hopes to collaborate with all the people they feel are the right leaders South Africa needs. They plan to do this before elections take place so they can all come together under one banner. Joining the movement will not require a person to leave their political party.

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Securing funding for the Rivonia Campaign

To start any movement or party one needs funding. It is not easy to secure funding to start a large movement but Zibi firmly believes they can secure enough and also keep costs down but having volunteers and straying away from the normal type of campaigning political parties do. 

“I don’t know how much funding we will get. We are going to ask South Africans to make small donations. R10, R15, R20, R100, debit orders every month and so on. Those who have more can contribute more. We want this to be a truly collaborative effort where South Africans come together. Most importantly, to try and get around the funding issue, we are encouraging an ethos of volunteers simply working in their communities to make sure as many people as possible are part of the movement. Hopefully, we can buy millions of t-shirts but we are not going to be a t-shirt campaign. We are going to be a campaign of substance where people talk to people they know and trust and talk about this movement. What it is all about and what we do.”

The funding will be used to support volunteers to spread the message. It will be used for transport, airtime and so on and so forth. Zibi explained members will not be forced to use their own pocket money to get the message to their community and others. 

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The serious challenges and meeting them head on

There are multiple issues plaguing the country at the moment. From loadshedding, high rates of crime, a crippling economy and a failing healthcare system. These issues need to be tackled. Over the last few months Zibi has got into contact with experts who are South African and are recognised globally. Together with them and those on the ground, they are starting to tackle issues head on and find solutions. 

“What we are finding, at a local level, is people are willing to work on a day to day basis to solve problems in their communities and they need support. We have tackled some big issues as well. One of them is loadshedding, economy and job issues, crime is an issue and so on. Not a single one of those experts have said no they won’t and they have not asked for money. We have panels now of people thinking about economic solutions. We have highly respected people talking about the health sector. We’ve managed to combine people from large business sector organisations to activists, to public servants like doctors and specialists, bringing them into one room and asking them to reimagine this country’s healthcare system. There was not a single argument. Everyone is focused on fixing the country.”

It is time for South Africans to trust themselves and trust the leaders in their communities. It is only through this means does Zibi believe the right people will move in and those who are not fit for leadership will be moved out. The power belongs to the South African people and it is time the people realised that and came together to fix the country. 

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