IFP and DA in KZN Briefs Media on Working Relationship Ahead of 2024

Dec 8, 2023 | Press Releases

Ladies and gentlemen of the media –

This is the first joint media briefing that the IFP and DA have held since the passing of the IFP Founder and President Emeritus, HRH Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi on the 9th of September 2023.

It has been only 3 months since uMntwana left us and yet so much has already happened in the political space that we have had to navigate.

We are grateful that we have his immense wisdom, and legacy of ethical, moral and servant leadership to fall back on, to assist us in the many decisions that we have to make regarding the future of KwaZulu-Natal.

1 year of working together:

On the 22nd of November 2023, the DA and IFP announced that we would put the residents of Ward 99 in eThekwini first and do everything that we could to beat the ANC in a ward the ANC had never lost.

This type of political cooperation had not been attempted in KZN since 2006 when both parties last worked together.

This agreement was a test case for what potentially could be in store for the future of KwaZulu-Natal, despite it being dismissed by political parties and media commentators.

The landslide victory that the IFP achieved with the support and help of the DA, gave the people of KwaZulu-Natal a visual representation of what life after the ANC could look like in the province. This collaboration also proved that when political parties put the interests of voters first, the ANC can be removed from power.

The IFP and DA will again implement this model next Wednesday 13 December 2023, during a by-election to be held in ward 101 in eThekwini. In this upcoming by-election, the DA has decided not to field a candidate. Like in Ward 99, the DA will support an IFP candidate instead. We are calling on the people of eThekwini to come out in their numbers and to support a real opportunity to restore service delivery and progress in that ward.

This model of collaborative politics has served both the DA and IFP in a number of by-elections across the province that have allowed both parties to either win wards off the ANC or retain their wards with increased majorities.

Indeed the voters of KwaZulu-Natal have endorsed this spirit of cooperation that allows a party, other than the ANC, to win.

However, it became very clear to the DA and IFP that the people of KwaZulu-Natal were crying out for something more formal between the parties, and which would bring stability to many of the hung municipalities across the province. This after the EFF decided to join forces with the ANC, in an attempt to win back municipalities in the hope of furthering their immoral activities.

With this in mind and being political parties that are attentive to the needs of residents, the DA and IFP began a series of talks starting in January 2023 to develop a framework in which we could firstly, bring stability to various local municipalities that would keep the ANC and EFF out, as well as prioritise service delivery.

It was envisaged that such an agreement would assist Councillors of the DA and IFP to work together and prioritise the needs of their residents around a common programme of action called the Service Delivery Agreement (SDA).

Review of progress made:

This morning, the DA and IFP met to review the progress and reflect on our cooperation started in November 2022.

It is our belief that indeed the Service Delivery Pact has had a positive effect in a number of our municipalities. We are proud to see progress towards rolling back the incredible damage the ANC inflicted for nearly 30 years in some places.

We both understand that progress in local government can be slow, especially in municipalities that have been subjected to cadre deployment and where the ANC have embarked on intensive campaigns to destabilise the government through violence, harassment and bribery, and in some instances supported by their bed fellows the EFF.

Therefore, the actions we take today may only bear fruit in years to come as we have to relay the foundations for good governance.

We are however demonstrating progress in improved audit outcomes in a number of municipalities where the DA and IFP have been working together and we commended our Councillors for the work they are doing. Most notably we have seen progress in:

  • Abaqulusi: Improvement from qualified with findings to unqualified with findings
  • Inkosi Langalibalele: Improvement from disclaimer to qualified with findings
  • Alfred Duma: unqualified with findings, which continue to be addressed
  • Newcastle: unqualified with findings, which continue to be addressed
  • uMhlalazi: Unqualified with no findings

We have also seen the continued retention of unqualified audits without findings in:

  • King Cetshwayo District: Unqualified with no findings
  • uMhlathuze Municipality: Unqualified with no findings
  • Okhahlamba: Unqualified with no findings

However, we recognise that there is room for improvement and we have no time to rest if we are to ensure continued improvement in audit outcomes.

The DA and IFP also is pleased at the work that is being done by the IFP Mayor, Xolani Ngwezi and DA Deputy Mayor, Christo Botha in the uMhlathuze Municipality as the fight to save their city from collapsing State Owned Entities like Transnet which is having a profound impact on Richards Bay.

The inaction by the ANC National Government, and particularly the President, Cyril Rampahosa and Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan over the chaos at the Richards Bay Coal Terminal is bringing hardship to this municipality in the form of environmental problems, traffic consequences and added financial burden.

The DA and IFP congratulates the decision taken by the uMhlathuze Municipality yesterday to begin the process of levying coal trucks R30 per ton.

At 1 million tons of coal transported through Richards Bay per month, this levy has the potential to generate up to R360 million over the next year to offset the damage being done to the city.

It is these sorts of progressive solutions we must continue to work on if we are to rescue KwaZulu-Natal from the effects of failed ANC economic policies.

However, we must also acknowledge we do face a number of challenges in certain municipalities which requires the collective effort of the DA and IFP to fix.

During our deliberations this morning, we discussed mechanisms to assist the Abaqalusi Municipality, Alfred Duma Municipality and uThukela District Municipality.

uThukela Municipality and Alfred Duma Municipality:

We are deeply concerned by the political interference that is taking place in uThukela through COGTA which is being run as an ANC branch.

It has become very clearly to the DA and IFP that the ANC appointed administrator which has been in the municipality for 7 years has done nothing to improve service delivery but rather hamper it on behalf of the ANC.

Currently, the appointed administrator has to ratify all decisions by portfolio committees and the council. Despite forensic reports commissioned by the DA and IFP councillors of uThukela, the administrator has been steadfast in not allowing the recommendations to be implemented, including charging municipal staff. In fact he has allowed them to come back to work.

Administrators are used as trojan horses to bring the ANC back into government without an election being held.

Therefore, the DA and the IFP will seek a legal opinion on the framework for administrators and their terms of reference as well as timelines they are allowed to operate in.

We cannot allow administrators to be in office for years without showing progress but existing only to hamper democratically elected councils. We will not allow the ANC to use administration as a political tool to suit them but not implement it when it doesn’t suit them, like in eThekwini.

Further, we will also discuss with the Alfred Duma Municipality to provide water distribution to assist uThukela to ensure that our people have water, and that sewage issues are speedily dealt with.

The DA and IFP will also start arranging a series of meetings across the district to meet with residents to explain to them what the ANC is doing to collapse service delivery as well as arranging a joint protest against COGTA.

The DA and IFP will also be engaging with local government experts to make them available, at our cost, to assist our councillors and leaders in government with technical advice on how to deal with some of these inherited challenges we are facing.

Abaqalusi Municipality:

We are concerned about service delivery challenges in this municipality and constant ANC attempts to create instability. The DA and IFP will develop a programme of action for the government and deliverables that must be implemented. This will require further engagements with our councillors and leaders of government and will be dealt with urgently.

Political Landscape of KwaZulu-Natal:

Both the DA and IFP have noted the growing hysteria amongst the ANC and EFF at the progress we are making across the province. This is to be expected when the municipality they govern, eThekwini, is falling apart and corruption is being allowed to take place without consequence.

The continued collapse of the eThekwini municipality is of grave concern to the DA and IFP. It is why we must take every step possible to get the ANC out.

We have called for eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda to resign after the metro was forced to return R1.2 billion to National Treasury. These funds were earmarked to repair infrastructure that was damaged during inclement weather in recent years.

It is simply unforgivable that in a province where the decay and collapse of infrastructure is evident and getting worse daily, and where citizens still live in temporary shelters following the devastating floods, that the ANC led government would fail to prioritise funding to improve lives and fix the ailing infrastructure. It is clear that the people of eThekwini and the people of KwaZulu Natal can no longer suffer the disastrous, incompetent and uncaring ANC-led government.

That is also why our respective parties have tabled a motion of no confidence in the mayor and one to dissolve the municipality and have fresh elections. We cannot expect the ANC and EFF to be part of fixing the problems they have created.

We call on all opposition parties and civic bodies to unite behind us in our quest to rescue eThekwini from the ANC and EFF.

Now is not the time for grandstanding or point scoring when the future of KwaZulu-Natal’s only metro is on the line. It is the time for mature political decision-making, led by the two largest opposition parties in the province.

We are also collectively saddened by the continued disease of political killings which takes place far too regularly in KwaZulu-Natal.

Just this week the DA and the IFP learnt with shock and disbelief that the DA Chief Whip in the DA-governed uMngeni Municipality, Councillor Nhlalayenza Ndlovu was brutally killed in front of his family.

The DA again conveys our deepest condolences to the Ndlovu family and hope that Councillor Ndlovu’s killers will be swiftly apprehended, and appreciates the messages of support from the IFP, SALGA KwaZulu-Natal and Mayors from across the province. Sadly, we have yet to receive any message from the ANC.

These types of killings are allowed to take place because the ANC government has shown no interest in arresting those responsible for them and they are not interested in working with political parities to find solutions. We believe they are happy for the chaos and anarchy to continue without consequences.

Conclusion and way forward:

Recent polling puts the IFP and DA on an upward trajectory. Jointly we now poll at 49%, which means that we are only 2% away from achieving a majority to unseat the uncaring ANC in 2024.

More importantly, we are ahead of the ANC and EFF coalition of corruption which is also polling at 48%.

We are therefore not only promising change but the numbers speak to this hope.

We call on all unregistered voters to register to vote for the DA and IFP in the upcoming registration weekend on the 3rd and 4th of February 2024 to ensure a victory for our parties in KwaZulu-Natal next year.

With the upcoming by-election in ward 101 in eThekwini next week, we want to encourage all voters to bring about the same change we brought about in ward 99 by getting behind the IFP.

We encourage our people to remove the ANC from this ward once and for all to further strengthen the oppositions hand in eThekwini.

Let’s unite to defeat the ANC government whose legacy of serving only themselves, must come to an end and who is supported by the corrupt EFF.

It is time to put the people of eThekwini and KwaZulu-Natal first by trusting a partnership of good governance and of ethical and moral leadership as led by the DA and IFP.

Thank you.

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