IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa announced their deal with the ANC in Durban on Wednesday. Picture: Bongani Mbatha /African News Agency (ANA) Archives
IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa announced their deal with the ANC in Durban on Wednesday. Picture: Bongani Mbatha /African News Agency (ANA) Archives

DA irked by IFP decision to give ANC free rein in hung municipalities holding majority seats

By Sihle Mavuso Time of article published Nov 17, 2021

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Durban - The DA in KwaZulu-Natal has been left red-faced by the sudden decision of the IFP to allow the ANC free rein to form governments in hung municipalities where it holds majority seats.

In fighting back against the deal, the DA says it will field candidates in municipalities such as eThekwini and Msunduzi (Pietermaritzburg) so that the IFP could vote with the ANC, thus exposing its hypocrisy.

The DA’s stance follows a surprise announcement by IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa on Wednesday in Durban that they opted for this consensus because, in part, some of the smaller parties they negotiated with made outrageous demands.

While the arrangement has all the hallmarks of a passive coalition government, Hlabisa said this is only meant to ensure stability in the province’s municipalities.

But Francois Rodgers, the leader of the DA in KwaZulu-Natal, is having none of it, saying “the surprise turnaround by the IFP is not unexpected”.

Video: Sihle Mavuso/IOL Politics

He explained that their negotiating mandate was to support the IFP and in return requested to hold the position of MPAC (Municipal Public Accounts Committee) in the municipalities they have backed them.

He said that would have afforded the DA the opportunity to monitor and ensure effective and clean governance.

“Obviously, this proposal would have exposed the IFP in those municipalities where governance has failed. The DA finds it strange that the leader of the IFP publicly announced that they would under no circumstances form any coalition with the ANC.

“Clearly, the leader of the IFP does not carry the mandate of his political party. Going forward, it is now abundantly evident that there is a clear difference between the IFP, ANC and the DA when it comes to effective service delivery, building a capable state and dealing with corruption,” he said.

To stage an immediate fightback against the IFP-ANC deal, Rodgers said they have been forced to push them to show their hand during voting when councils convened to elect new mayors.

“The DA will now field mayoral candidates in KZN’s hung municipalities including eThekwini and Msunduzi. This will now force the IFP and ANC coalition to show its hand in the election of these positions. Voters who voted for the IFP and ANC will see for themselves the fake campaigns run by both these parties.

“The DA will further work on building opposition voting blocs with those minority parties who have stood their ground during coalition talks. The DA remains the only principled party that can ensure effective opposition in the province.”

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal is yet to confirm the new arrangement with the IFP, which has given it a lifeline in critical municipalities like Newcastle and Umhlathuze (Mpangeni-Richards Bay).

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Political Bureau

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