IFP agrees to join ANC, DA in GNU – no decision on KZN yet

The political parties in kwaZulu-Natal are racing against time to find each other in an effort to form a government in the province. 

It was believed that the IFP will put to bed the speculation over who it had picked to get into bed with in the province. However, it wasn’t to be. Instead, in a media briefing late Wednesday afternoon, the party announced that the talks were ongoing. The second-biggest party in KZN was referring to talks with leaders of various political parties. 

“At a national level, the IFP has decided on forming part of government of national unity. Provincially, we are working toward forming a government in the province of KZN. This having met with the ANC, DA and NFP in this province. It continues to be work in progress,” said IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa. 

Unanimous decision

He explained that this was an unanimous decision presented by a seven-member task team spearheading coalition talks. They are headed by the party’s deputy president Inkosi Mzamo Buthelezi. It was submitted to the national council, the IFP’s highest decision-making body. This was done between conferences on Wednesday morning, and they gave it the green light. 

Hlabisa, however, said there was no solid agreement on forming government in KZN with either the DA or the ANC. But the party was happy with how the engagements had penned out. According to Hlabisa, the two parties occupying fourth and third place respectively in terms of provincial vote. They reached consensus on the premier candidate. IFP KZN chairperson Thamsanqa Ntuli will be endorsed to replace Nomusa Dube-Ncube as KwaZulu-Natal premier. Ntuli is also the mayor of King Cetshwayo district municipality, northern KZN. 

Leading up to the press briefing, there were high expectations. It was widely expected that the IFP would announce the ANC, DA and its splinter grouping the NFP as a new pact. The new pact was expected to be announced as the one to form government. 

Hlabisa also revealed that uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party had snubbed a meeting with the IFP.  The meeting was scheduled for Monday this week. The IFP’s negotiating team is said to have waited for six hours for an MK delegation. And the delegation did not pitch at the meeting venue in Durban. The Jacob Zuma-led formation just did not show up.

“Despite the meeting that collapsed, we’re prepared to meet the MK. The people of South Africa said ‘find each other and take our country forward’. We are heeding that call,” Hlabisa elaborated. 

Coalitions are the future of the country’s political landscape

He also pointed out that the electorate had not given any single party a majority. Political parties must be used to coalitions. Because they are the future of the country’s political landscape, he said. 

As things stands, the MK is leading the pack in KZN with 37 seats, IFP 15 seats, ANC 14 seats and the DA with 11 seats. The EFF has two seats, while the NFP has a solitary seat. 

Indications late on Wednesday pointed to an EFF, MK and NFP alliance. But the announcement by the IFP opens the door wide for any eventuality. The premier, speaker and deputy speakers are expected to be sworn in on Friday. This will be followed by members of the provincial legislature. 

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