We want two ministries not second DP position – senior IFP source

Parliament is expected to hold its first sitting of the seventh administration on Friday and elect president and Speaker. | Siyabulela Duda

Parliament is expected to hold its first sitting of the seventh administration on Friday and elect president and Speaker. | Siyabulela Duda

Published Jun 12, 2024


Durban — What position IFP president, Velenkosini Hlabisa is likely to hold in the new South African government, is about to be revealed.

IFP spokesperson, Mkhuleko Hlengwa, confirmed that Hlabisa would make a statement on Wednesday (today).

The first sitting of the country’s seventh administration is set to take place on Friday.

A senior IFP member, who wished to remain anonymous, said the IFP was not interested in the ceremonial position of the second deputy president, but would rather accept two ministries.

The member said since there was no provision for the second deputy president position in the Constitution, creating it for the IFP would cause an unnecessary delay since Parliament would have to debate and pass the amendments. The member said they did not want a position that would make a leader “a lame duck government official”.

The member said the party was gunning for Water and Sanitation as well as Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, adding that the IFP believed that with its experience in the local government sphere where it controlled municipalities for a long time, it would serve these positions well, as there were correlations between the two departments.

About the allocation of portfolios in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature, the member said it looked as though the Government of National Unity (GNU) was the way to go.

The IFP was expecting to be given the premiership together with four MEC positions, while the rest would be shared by the ANC, the DA, and the National Freedom Party (NFP).

On which positions the IFP would prefer if it has its way, the member said there was no way for anyone to govern the KZN without having Cogta and Transport under it. The member added that the ideal would be to add Health and Economic Development, but through compromises, the party could let the last two go.

There is speculation that the IFP will take four MEC posts with the KZN premiership, while the ANC will have three MEC positions plus the speaker’s position. The DA is said to have settled for two and the NFP one MEC position. In the 80-seat chamber, the MKP scored 37 seats, IFP 15, ANC 14, EFF two and NFP one.

If their deal comes through, it would not be the first time the DA, the ANC, and the IFP will be governing together in the province. In the arrangement of a GNU under Nelson Mandela in 1994, the IFP and the ANC for reconciliation purposes had to share power in the province despite the IFP winning an outright majority.

The DA and the IFP have been working together in local government for a long time now and there has been stability in the municipalities they have been co-governing. The IFP’s provincial chairperson, Thami Ntuli, who is likely to be sworn in as premier next week, has a good relationship with the DA’s provincial chairperson, Dean Macpherson.

The two have been credited for stability through a coalition in the uMhlathuze Local Municipality in Richards Bay on the North Coast of KZN. Ntuli is also credited for bringing stability to the King Cetshwayo District Municipality since taking power in 2021. His first major decision was to ban the hiring of water tankers from private companies and buy tankers for the municipality.

The likely swearing-in of Ntuli could take place at the back of reported divisions within the party leadership. There were rumours that a senior party member who is also a mayor held secret talks with senior leaders of the MKP.

Phumlani Mfeka, who is a member of the presidential task team recently appointed by MKP leader, Jacob Zuma, did not deny the meeting but said he was not at liberty to disclose who the party was talking to.

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