IFP premier candidate Thami Ntuli ready for the hot seat

Thami Ntuli, who was recently announced as the party's KZN premier candidate. Picture: Facebook

Thami Ntuli, who was recently announced as the party's KZN premier candidate. Picture: Facebook

Published Feb 4, 2024


Durban – IFP premier candidate Thami Ntuli says he is ready to steer KwaZulu-Natal in the right direction should he take up the sought-after seat.

Ntuli, who is the current mayor of the King Cetshwayo District Municipality, the IFP provincial chairperson and the chairperson of the South African Local Government Association (Salga), said he accepted the nomination.

This comes after IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa announced Ntuli as the party’s premier candidate for the national and provincial elections, during a press conference held at the IFP’s head office in Durban last week.

He said Ntuli's nomination was backed by the party and the people of the province and they were confident in his capacity and leadership, knowing that he would represent the party’s values in government.

Hlabisa said the province would be restored to its former glory when the IFP took the reins.

Speaking to the Daily News, Ntuli said there was plenty of work to be done in the province, but he was up to the task.

He said the most notable challenges included unemployment, a decline in the economy and the high rates of crime.

“The poor functioning of the governmental institutions results in poor quality of service delivery, which essentially results in no growth in the economy and brings distress and struggle to the people. That will change under my leadership,” said Ntuli.

He further outlined some of his attributes which he believes makes him a suitable candidate for the position.

“I have been described as a game-changer and one who is able to work diligently for the people. I can personally say that I am a very hard-working person whenever the opportunity is brought before me. I restore faith in people wherever I go, including during my stint in Nkandla, King Cetshwayo and in the South African Local Government Association.

“I have a deep love for people, which I believe helps to restore their faith in me and propels me to work hard,” said Ntuli.

He encouraged South Africans, particularly the youth, to register to vote for change.

“The reason people say that voting does not help them is because the people that they vote for do not do what they want. Casting a vote is the only way to choose suitable people. So, it is important to go out there and allocate the right people to do the job and restore hope in humanity,” said Ntuli.

According to political analyst Siyabonga Ntombela, from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Ntuli’s appointment came as no surprise.

He said while the IFP was considered by most to be a suitable alternative to the ruling party, the emergence of the Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) party posed a threat to their numbers.

“Under these dynamics, the party needs someone who is well equipped to deal with these political dynamics and the tectonic shifts in power. They also need someone who is able to understand and capture the province well,” he said.

He said that joining forces within the IFP and rallying behind their premier was important to avoid division leading up to the elections, and that Ntuli was better positioned to garner support in all regions.

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