Durban — Service delivery in KwaZulu-Natal continues to deteriorate while political parties fight it out for positions of power.
The EFF in KwaZulu-Natal has dismissed claims from the IFP that it turned down an offer to govern eThekwini Municipality.
At a media briefing on Monday the IFP said it had offered the EFF an opportunity to take eThekwini but they demanded uMhlathuze Local Municipality.
The IFP said the EFF had stated uMhlathuze as the party’s only condition to continue with the coalition it entered into after the November 2021 local government elections, which saw the parties co-governing several municipalities that became “hung”.
EFF provincial chairperson Mongezi Thwala said the IFP was being disingenuous by saying how the IFP was giving them municipalities where they were in the minority. Thwala said the IFP was not negotiating in good faith when it offered eThekwini, because it knew that the EFF was going to need DA and ActionSA support for the motion to remove the ANC, adding that these two parties were not going to allow an EFF mayor in the city.
“We wanted a municipality where both the IFP and EFF were currently controlling, but they refused,” said Mongezi.
IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa said his party found it odd that the EFF did that because its argument was that it wanted to get a chance to govern to show off its governance capabilities ahead of the 2024 general elections.
Hlabisa said his party had even offered Msunduzi, KwaDukuza, and Umdoni municipalities but EFF insisted on uMhlathuze, which could not be done under any circumstances.
The National Executive Committee of the IFP met the DA and EFF national leaders in Johannesburg in October 2022 and January 2023 to consolidate working arrangements in the coalition governments, Hlabisa said.
“In the meeting, the EFF made a presentation, which expressed their desire to govern a municipality in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal where they would demonstrate good governance by the EFF,” said Hlabisa.
The IFP also refused the EFF’s offer to allow his party to have a token mayoral position in Mogale City, Hlabisa said. But his party was not going to agree to an arrangement that would undermine the people since Mogale City residents had not chosen the IFP.
Hlabisa said according to their calculations they would lose KwaMaphumulo and Umhlabuyalingana municipalities if the EFF pulled out of coalition agreements, contrary to media reports that the IFP would lose 13 municipalities.
Hlabisa called for calm, saying the IFP has worked hard to ensure its key municipalities, like Zululand, would remain in its hands. The IFP needed the EFF to retain Zululand after failing to win with an outright majority.
The district in the heartland of the IFP was one of the hung municipalities with an ANC/NFP coalition taking 18 seats. The IFP/DA also came to 18 causing a tie, leaving the EFF to decide who governs. With the EFF having dumped the IFP it is unclear how the IFP will retain power during the motion of no confidence the ANC is expected to table on Tuesday. ANC Mzala Nxumalo regional secretary Ntokozo Nxumalo said his party was preparing to govern Zululand.
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