The Hon. Mr Narend Singh MP
Member Of The IFP NEC And
Chairperson Of The National Campaign Committee
Cape Town: 17 August 2016
Thank you for joining us this afternoon as we announce the outcome of negotiations following the 2016 Local Government Elections.
I am sure you are all aware of the announcements made by the EFF and DA earlier today. As the third largest opposition party, and a party that has doubled its support in the August 3rd elections, the IFP has carefully weighed the interests of local government and the call of the electorate.
Together with our National Chairperson, the Hon. Mr Blessed Gwala, I, as Chairperson of the National Campaign Committee, was tasked by our National Executive Committee with engaging negotiations with all political parties, to find the best way forward.
We did this cognisant of the message that has been sent by the electorate, and aware of the need to restore integrity and efficiency to local governance. We went into these negotiations stating upfront that the IFP will not go against the expressed wishes of the electorate in any municipality.
Our main areas of focus are Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal, for it is in these two provinces that the electoral outcome necessitated political cooperation. There are 6 hung municipalities in KwaZulu Natal. These municipalities cannot function unless two or more parities work together.
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. This was a precursor to 2016. The electorate has now clearly called for an IFP leadership in KwaZulu Natal.
Across South Africa, the electoral result speaks of a wider dissatisfaction with the governance of the ANC. We had to take this into account. It was not just an ANC/NFP coalition that the electorate rejected, but also the continued dominance of the ANC.
The IFP made it clear in our negotiations that whatever we decided for KwaZulu Natal 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.
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.
After meeting with all parties, the results of negotiations were taken back to the NEC, and a collegial decision was taken for the IFP to work in cooperation with the DA and EFF in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal.
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.
As announced by the EFF this afternoon, the EFF will vote for the IFP in KwaZulu Natal 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. This is in addition to the 6 we won on August 3rd.
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.
Our 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 stronger cooperation in the administration of municipalities. We will thus work together in municipal councils after they are established.
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. How we cooperate in each municipality will thus not be driven by politicking, but by how it can attain those goals of good governance, service delivery and a clean administration.
As the three biggest opposition parties, we believe we can achieve these goals.