Durban — Opposition parties have joined forces in an attempt to unseat the ruling party – the ANC.
The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) hosted a joint press conference at Elangeni Hotel in Durban, on Tuesday.
IFP chairperson Thami Ntuli said: “Co-operation between opposition parties has always been a powerful tool to change the dynamics of governance at the local, provincial and national level.
“It has never been more urgent for the opposition to work together and to move the balance of power away from those who consistently abuse the trust of our citizens.
“Service delivery and cohesiveness have been severely undermined by those in power – placing upon us as opposition leaders the onus to do whatever it takes to rescue a government.
“To this end, a meeting was held last month involving the national leadership of the IFP – led by Velenkosini Hlabisa – and the national leadership of the DA, led by John Steenhuisen; as well as the chairperson of the Federal Council, Helen Zille.
“In that meeting, issues of mutual interest were discussed in-depth with the focus on harnessing the potential in KwaZulu-Natal.”
Ntuli said they had also met the provincial leadership of the DA on multiple occasions and both parties have a working arrangement in several municipalities.
“Wherever both parties are co-operating, we have a technical committee in place to resolve the challenges in service delivery. Our co-operation has been very effective and we see the potential to deepen it as we approach the 2024 national and provincial elections.”
IFP MP and treasurer Narend Singh said: “Our objective now is to win Ward 99 (Umkomaas). By taking the seat away from the ANC, it will send jitters down their spine and it will change the dynamics of the political landscape.
“There will be co-operation but not co-option.
“We can work with other parties, but not merge with them. That decision rests with the national leadership.”
Singh added, “The IFP and the DA are two of the biggest parties, so a united front in eThekwini can unseat the ANC. Ward 99 is just a precursor.”
He also referred to the violence in the area between the ANC and the IFP in the 1990s and said: “We must bury the past. Those were over-enthusiastic ANC supporters – and there has not been any violence since.”
He said they were planning to submit a formal letter to the IEC regarding “its credibility”.
DA KZN chairperson Dean Macpherson said: “We are an opposition party that will ensure that if an IFP councillor is elected, they will do the job that is expected of a ward councillor.
“That is why we have this technical task team – so that where there are issues between our parties within the various structures across the province, we’re able to deal with them in a constructive manner.
“We aim to seek a solution that not only extends to the interests of our voters but also our parties.”
Macpherson said the DA and the IFP have worked together provincially in 2006 and were working together in municipalities, including uThukela District, uMhlathuze, Inkosi Langalibalele Local Municipality, to name but a few.
“We are working together in a number of municipalities across the province and some work better than others – which is the point of expanding and building on our discussions.
“That is to ensure that there is good governance in those municipalities and that we also work towards keeping an eye on 2024 and forming a coalition government to get the ANC out of the legislative buildings.
“We want to show the power of united parties when there’s a common enemy.
“When we work together, we can bring change. There’s a mutual understanding by our parties for good governance.”