IFP wards off ANC/EFF coalition by winning crucial Mtubatuba by-election

The IFP has been dubbed by-election specialists under its provincial chairperson Thami Ntuli after winning a string of by-elections.

The IFP has been dubbed by-election specialists under its provincial chairperson Thami Ntuli after winning a string of by-elections.

Published Feb 16, 2023


Durban — The IFP in KwaZulu-Natal has registered another important by-election win in the Mtubatuba Local Municipality north of the province.

The by-election was held at ward 4, which was under the ANC. The IFP snatched it on Wednesday, thereby consolidating its grip on power and dealing a blow to the new ANC and EFF coalition.

In a statement on Thursday, the IFP said it has maintained its trajectory victory by winning the by-elections with 704 votes, while the ANC had 562 votes, and the EFF 32 votes.

The IFP said it was humbled by the support that has been shown by the people of Mtubatuba just a month after also snatching ward 9 from the ANC in the same municipality. The win meant the IFP has taken two wards from the ANC in the space of a month, which the party said was a clear indication that the people of this province no longer have faith in the ANC.

“The strength of the IFP in KwaZulu-Natal to forge ahead with victory is the legacy of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. The people of Mtubatuba were categorical to their reasons to believe that IFP remains a better choice to govern with integrity and deliver the government who can fix problems of this province,” read the statement.

IFP constituency secretary Killer Mkhwanazi said his was very close to be able to govern alone without needing any party, adding that the win guaranteed the party’s control to a certain extent because it now only needs the DA and the African Christian Democratic Party with both a seat apart.

Mkhwanazi said the win was a blow to the ANC and EFF coalition as it would find it difficult to convince the DA and ACDP to assist their coalition, adding that his party has a strong relationship with both parties. The ANC/EFF/NFP coalition had listed Mtubatuba as one of the eight municipalities which it was targeting to grab from the IFP.

In the 44- seat council the IFP had initially won 19 followed by the ANC with 16, four from the EFF while the DA, ACDP, NFP, UDM, AIC, as well as an Independent councillor, got one seat each. Since no party won an outright majority this forced the IFP and EFF supported by the DA and ACDP to govern the municipality.

The collapse of the IFP and EFF coalition was now favouring an ANC and EFF coalition to dislodge the IFP with the help of the NFP, UDM, AIC and Independent.

With new two seats added to the IFP it now has 21 and together with DA and ACDP seats total 23 against 22 from the ANC-led coalition. Had the ANC retained its ward on Wednesday its coalition would have been in a better position to oust the IFP.

Also in Newcastle, the IFP would continue after its partner Team Sugar SA party retained its ward 31 in a by-election on Wednesday.

Electoral Commission of South Africa chairperson Ntombifuthi Masinga said both by-elections went well. She added that both wins ensured that there would be no change of leadership.

While the IFP celebrates the Mtubatuba victory, it may lose Nongoma municipality on Monday during a motion of no confidence against its leadership. The IFP was governing the municipality with the help of the EFF.

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