Insure your car, home and valuables with iWYZE
The National Freedom Party-ANC coalition is continuing to show cracks, with NFP councillors in Imbabazane joining hands with their IFP counterparts to depose the ANC mayor and Speaker.
Imbabazane, near Estcourt, is one of the 19 municipalities where no party gained a clear majority in last year’s local government elections, leading to the NFP and the ANC agreeing to co-govern.
But the marriage between the two parties soon hit the rocks, with NFP members saying they were being undermined by their ANC partners.
The Imbabazane incident mirrors events at other coalition-governed municipalities.
In uMlalazi and uMtubatuba, in the north of the province, NFP members have defied their party bosses by voting with the IFP and against the ANC.
In an Imbabazane council meeting on Wednesday, the NFP councillors helped the IFP to unseat ANC mayor Phindile Strydom and Speaker Mondli Mkhize.
Strydom was replaced by NFP councillor Mbuzeleni Mkhize, who was elected mayor, while another NFP member, Bheki Mazibuko, was elected Speaker.
Mbuzeleni Mkhize, who is also the NFP chairman in the district, said that the working relationship between the coalition partners had so broken down that the NFP councillors had decided to vote with the IFP.
“We have been undermined by the ANC, and we have raised these issues with their leadership but nothing was done,” Mkhize said.
“The ANC has also been targeting NFP-aligned officials for purging not only at this municipality, but at other municipalities within the district.”
Mkhize did not rule out the possibility of reversing the decision, saying this was a possibility, but only if the ANC acceded to the demands of the NFP.
IFP councillor, Thembelihle Nqubuka, who was voted in as mayor at the controversial council meeting, said that her party voted with the NFP in the interests of service delivery in the municipality.
She said that because of the unsavoury relationship between the ANC and the NFP, service delivery had been compromised.
DA councillor, Sandile Ndlovu, echoed this, saying that the NFP-ANC coalition was not working out.
“I am not preoccupied with who is in power, all we want as the DA is to ensure that those who are in power are accountable and that services reach the people on the ground.”
Sihle Zikalala, the provincial secretary of the ANC, said that his party would meet the NFP to iron out some of the issues.
“We have noted what happened at Imbabazane,” Zikalala said.
“Our approach will not be informed by emotions, but by real issues that are prevailing there.
“We did indicate before we entered into this partnership with the NFP that the relationship will not always be smooth.
“We will engage with the NFP.”