The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has revealed that it has the support of the EFF and the DA in the hung municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal.
There are eight such municipalities in the province and two of them may be hung even after this cooperation of South Africa’s three biggest opposition parties.
Narend Singh, chairperson of the IFP’s national campaign committee, revealed that he and the IFP’s national chairperson Blessed Gwala were tasked by the party after the elections to engage in negotiations with all political parties to find “the best way forward”.
Their main focus was on Gauteng and KZN, for it is in these two provinces that “the electoral outcome necessitated political cooperation”.
Five of the hung councils are local municipalities and three are district councils.
Singh said the IFP made it clear in its negotiations that whatever they decided for KZN would need to be replicated elsewhere.
“We were not prepared to have a cooperation with one party here and with a different party there, as this would muddy the waters and create confusion,” he said.
“Finally, our overriding concern in all negotiations was to secure good governance, service delivery and an end to corruption. We sought the best political formula to achieve this in every municipality.”
Singh said after meeting with all parties, the results of negotiations were taken back to the party’s national executive committee, and a collegial decision was taken for the IFP to work in cooperation with the DA and EFF in Gauteng and KZN.
He said they were not forming any coalitions, and each party will maintain its own identity. “But our councillors will work together at local level, in various municipalities, to ensure that the will of the electorate is respected.”
As announced by Julius Malema, the EFF will vote for the IFP in KZN to govern hung municipalities. The DA will also support the IFP.
Accordingly, the IFP is likely to govern an additional five local municipalities through this cooperation, and three district municipalities.
The party had won six municipalities – five local municipalities and one district council – on its own on August 3rd. These are Ulundi, Msinga, Nkandla, Mthonjaneni, Big Five/Hlabisa and the Mzinyathi District Municipality.
The six hung municipalities are Jozini Local municipality, which has 40 seats. The ANC has 19 of these seats, the IFP 18, the DA one, EFF one and an independent candidate one. If the independent votes with the ANC, the council will be further hung.
The same situation is expected in Edumbe where the ANC has eight councillors, the DA has five and the IFP has three.
The IFP is most likely going to take over Endumeni (Dundee) where it has seven seats with its cooperation parties and the ANC has six. In Nquthu, the IFP and partners will have 17 seats while the ANC has 14 and the National Freedom Party has two.
In Mtubatuba, the partners have 21 seats against the ANC’s 18 and the African Independent Congress’ one.
In Abaqulusi (Vryheid), partners have 23 seats against the ANC’s 21 in a 44-seat council.
Singh said their cooperation with the DA and EFF will be extended to Gauteng. The EFF has indicated that they are not interested in positions, but rather in a strong cooperation in the administration of municipalities.
The IFP, DA and EFF agree on the principle that every citizen must be served by local government, regardless of which political party they support, Singh said.