IFP’s plan to reclaim KZN while eyeing Gauteng ahead of polls

Inkatha Freedom Party leader Velenkosini Hlabisa during a roundtable discussion with The Star. | Timothy Bernard Independent Newspapers.

Inkatha Freedom Party leader Velenkosini Hlabisa during a roundtable discussion with The Star. | Timothy Bernard Independent Newspapers.

Published May 1, 2024


THE INKATHA Freedom Party (IFP) has revealed its plans to reclaim KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) days before the much anticipated May 29 elections.

The party has also laid bare that while it will be contesting in all nine provinces, its aims to remove the governing ANC in Gauteng and nationally.

Party president Velenkosini Hlabisa, who spoke to ‘The Star’ before the start of his Mpumalanga campaign trail on Tuesday, said the ANC could not be trusted after its continued mismanagement of South Africa over the past three decades.

He decried the state of poverty, crime and the collapse of infrastructure and service delivery the Joburg metro and the Durban metro, both of which have become dysfunctional.

The party, which in recent months has been making serious inroads in retaining maximum support in its home province, KZN, is confident of its return to the top in the elections despite having lost its founding leader, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

Hlabisa mentioned the emergence of ANC’s breakaway party, the uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP), which he said would help his party’s cause because it would take votes from the ANC, which is currently governing KZN.

Last month, the IFP recorded three victories during the most recent by-elections in Newcastle as well as other bi-elections it was contesting, resulting in the party becoming the main opposition in the KZN legislature.

Hlabisa said Durban Metro mayor Mxolisi Kaunda’s State Of The Province Address, which his party boycotted, revealed how bad the situation had become for residents because of the collapse of the provision of essential services such water.

“Lets not create an impression that the IFP is a KZN party. We are contesting all nine provinces… Yes, our priority is to reclaim KZN and bring in an efficient and corruption-free government in that province… We are doing whatever it takes to take 41 seats and above.”

Hlabisa said the party ha made its calculations on what needed to be done to do well in all 11 districts. Should the party receive an overwhelming mandate from the people of KZN as well as from other provinces, it would change their lives for the better, he said.

“The City of eThekwini has become known for corruption amounting to millions, if not billions, of rands. Instead of money going to services, the money goes into the wrong hands. I was in Efolweni recently, and people have reported not having water for weeks on end. That is why I said after May 29, a conscious decision must be made to dissolve the municipality because it is failing the people,” he said.

He added that in Gauteng, his party’s intention was to push the governing party (ANC) below 50 % and remove them from government through a coalition.

“A coalition government must be an alternative government in Gauteng and bring a fresh start to the province. Johannesburg has been destroyed to what it is today. The governing party has to be taken out from the provincial government because you can't rebuild with someone who destroyed what was the pride of the nation,” he said.

“Even nationally our intention is to push down the ANC below 50% and remove them from power which is very practical; it can be done.”

He said that his party should take advantage of the MKP taking some of the ANC’s voters saying it could be over for the governing party if it lost the Western Cape, Gauteng and KZN.

“Other parties will be eating a lot in the Free State, Mpumalanga while the EFF will also be cutting a bigger slice in Limpopo… So the ANC needs a miracle for them to remain above 50%,” Hlabisa said.

Asked if there was a chance for the IFP to join forces with the ANC, Hlabisa, though not refusing to work with them, would have none of it.

“They (ANC) can show interest in working with us but the truth is they have destroyed the country… It is in the DNA of the ANC to be corrupt and we stand for the opposite. We want to fight corruption… so if you stand with them then we won't fight corruption efficiently.”

He said the ANC list handed to the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) was infested with corrupt ANC individuals who had been implicated by the State Capture Commission.

The Star

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