Ladies and gentlemen of the media –
Cooperation between opposition parties has always been a powerful tool to change the dynamic of governance at local, provincial and even national level. In South Africa, the political environment is ripe for closer cooperation, collaboration and coalitions.
In fact, it has never been more urgent for the opposition to work together to move the balance of power away from those who have consistently abused the trust of our citizens. Service delivery and cohesiveness have been severely undermined by those in power, placing a duty upon us as opposition leaders to do whatever it takes to rescue governance.
To this end, a meeting was held last month between the national leadership of the IFP, led by the Hon. Mr Velenkosini Hlabisa, and the national leadership of the DA, led by the Hon. Mr John Steenhuisen and the Chairperson of the Federal Council. Issues of mutual interest were discussed in depth, with the focus on harnessing the potential in KwaZulu-Natal.
The IFP leads the opposition in KwaZulu-Natal and we have met with the provincial leadership of the DA in this Province on a number of occasions. In several municipalities, we are in a coalition government with the DA. Wherever the IFP and DA are cooperating, we have a Technical Committee in place to resolve any challenges in service delivery.
Accordingly, our cooperation has been very effective, and we see the potential to deepen it as we approach the 2024 national and provincial elections. Our national leadership has agreed to work together to lay a strong foundation for coalition governments at local, provincial and national level. We have further agreed to work with other like-minded parties, where this will serve the interests of good governance.
It is vital that strong opposition parties build good working relations ahead of 2024, so that we will be able to effect serious change in the next election. I shall leave it to my colleague, the Hon. Mr Dean Macpherson, to indicate how this is playing out in the immediate term in an imminent by-election.
Suffice to say that the IFP welcomes all cooperation that will place us in a stronger position to take wards and even councils away from those who have not been serving them well.
Of course, cooperation of this kind is nothing new. Thriving democracies throughout the world have seen a dramatic shift towards coalition government. The IFP has vast experience in this realm and we know how to make it work for the benefit of those we serve.
We thus hope to see supporters of other parties being drawn towards a powerful and growing dynamic of cooperation, so that – come 2024 – KwaZulu-Natal will see a massive change towards good governance.
I thank you.