Media Briefing By Mr M B Gwala, National Chairman
Of The Inkatha Freedom Party On Cooperation
Between The IFP, DA And The EFF Following The 2016 Local Government Elections Held At The IFP Head Office
In Durban On Thursday, 18 August 2016
At the outset I want to acknowledge the presence of Mr Zwakele Mncwango, the KZN Provincial Leader of the Democratic Alliance and Mr Marshall Dlamini, of the Economic Freedom Fighters.
I also acknowledge the presence of members of the media and thank you for your presence as we present the outcome of the negotiations after the confirmation of the results of the 2016 Local Government Elections.
Following on the announcements that were made at a national level yesterday, we have decided to present the KwaZulu-Natal scenario as it pertains to the agreement that has been reached among our parties.
Before going into any further details, I would like to thank the leadership of the DA and the EFF for the manner in which we were able to conduct the negotiations that allowed us to arrive at an agreement in such a short space of time.
I, together with Hon Narend Singh, the Chairman of our National Campaign Committee and Treasurer General were mandated by the National Executive Committee of the IFP to enter into discussions with other political parties so as to find solutions that would be in the best interest of the electorate across KZN.
As a result of the outcome of the elections, it became necessary for two or more parties to co-operate in order to ensure that, within the legal timeframe, those municipalities will have in place a responsible government. A government that will put the needs of the people first by eradicating poverty through the creation of sustainable jobs, attending to the housing backlog by providing decent housing and making the provision of water and sanitation a reality.
Being the third largest opposition party and keeping in mind that there are six (6) hung municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal, we saw the need to engage with the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters.
The significant increase in support for the IFP in KwaZulu Natal confirms that the electorate has rejected the ANC/NFP coalition that took over 19 hung municipalities in 2011. We saw this from the very first by-election after 2011, as people came back to the IFP. It was clear that the rank and file of the NFP had themselves rejected the coalition, as NFP Councillors voted with the IFP in Municipal Councils despite the NFP/ANC coalition.
Thus, since 2011, the IFP was restored to the helm in five municipalities including Nkandla which will continue to have an IFP mayor serving all the citizens of Nkandla in the future. We want to stress from the outset that we are 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.
After meeting with all parties, the results of negotiations were taken back to the NEC of the IFP, and a collegial decision was taken for the IFP to work in cooperation with the DA and EFF in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
In keeping with this agreement the DA and the EFF will vote for the IFP to govern hung municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal. As a result the IFP is likely to govern an additional five local municipalities and three district municipalities. This is in addition to the 6 municipalities we won on 03 August 2016.
This is a significant victory over the ANC, and acknowledges that through these elections the IFP was restored as the biggest opposition to the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal.
We call on all IFP councillors to adhere to this agreement to the last letter and in the spirit that it is meant.
The outcome of the 2016 Local Government Elections sends a clear message that the electorate in KwaZulu-Natal wants a change of government in KZN in 2019. We, as the IFP will respond positively to this call from the electorate as we prepare for the 2019 General Election.
Mr Blessed Gwala
IFP National Chairperson
078 290 5842