Battle for control of KZN intensifies

IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa revealed that the party has been speaking with the DA, ANC and NFP to form a provincial government.

IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa revealed that the party has been speaking with the DA, ANC and NFP to form a provincial government.

Published Jun 13, 2024


The battle for political control of KwaZulu-Natal intensified on Wednesday after the IFP announced it has agreed to be part of a coalition government that involves the ANC, DA, and NFP.

However, rumours surfaced on Wednesday afternoon following a meeting between National Freedom Party president Ivan Barnes and uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) leader, former president Jacob Zuma, indicating that the IFP splinter party might join forces with the MKP and the EFF to form another coalition.

Such a coalition means the legislature could be tied, with each coalition having 40 members.

IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa revealed that the party has been speaking with the DA, ANC and NFP to form a provincial government.

Hlabisa said that during the meetings between the four parties, the IFP had put forward the name of IFP provincial chairperson Thami Ntuli as its premier candidate and the other parties had indicated that there was broad support for him (Ntuli) to lead the coalition government.

The IFP president said that in the meeting they had also discussed the name of the potential speaker and deputy speaker.

He said the discussion on the allocation of the other post for MECs is something that could be handled after the first parliamentary sitting.

“At national level, the IFP has agreed to form part of the Government of National Unity.

“In addition, as I have outlined before, the IFP will join a Government of National Unity that includes the ANC and the DA.”

He said in reality, the only options are to become part of the government or part of the opposition.

“The mandate the IFP had received from its electorate is for the IFP to contribute to the effective governance of South Africa.

“We recognise the responsibility this bestows on us to participate in government based on the will of the electorate.

“We will participate in the Government of National Unity for the sake of our country and for the sake of our people, who want life to continue with a stable government that will address their challenges.

“This is the sole reason why the IFP supports the idea of the formation of the GNU and why we will join the GNU. We welcome the opportunity to bring the IFP’s principled leadership and integrity into the governance of our country,” he said.

Hlabisa said the GNU is not uncharted territory for the IFP, adding that the party has vast experience in governance at national and provincial level.

“It is our track record in governance that earned us the trust of South Africa’s people,” he said.

Hlabisa told the media that the party was supposed to meet the MKP leadership at 5pm on Monday, but MKP’s delegation failed to arrive after the IFP had waited for four hours.

While the IFP identified the NFP as one of its coalition partners in KZN, the party’s secretary-general Cannan Mdletshe, who was among party leaders who met Zuma , said an agreement is in place but has not been “formalised yet”.

The EFF in the province is also set to join the parties in governing the province, with the party saying it is open to working with the MKP.

Speaking to The Mercury last night, Mdletshe said after meeting Msholozi (Zuma) on Wednesday they reached an agreement to have a working relationship. He said Wednesday was the third time Zuma met with the party.

“I cannot get into details but I can confirm that there is an agreement in place with the MKP.

“We have not yet formalised anything, but hopefully we will soon. We have met three times with Zuma and on Wednesday we reached somewhere, and talks went pretty well,” Mdletshe said.

MKP head of programmes Musa Mkhize described the talks with the NFP and the EFF leadership as “successful”.

He said the three parties share the same objectives.

“After the elections it was clear that people wanted MKP to lead them and liberate them, Zuma did meet with the NFP and something good came of that meeting,” Mkhize said.

Approached for comment, Mazwi Blose, the EFF’s spokesperson, said the party will announce on Thursday who they will be working with.

“We are still discussing, we have not reached any agreement with anyone. From our side we are still having discussions with different political parties. Tomorrow (today) we will make our announcement regarding any coalition,” said Blose.

The KZN Legislature will hold its first sitting of the 7th term on Friday. This is where MPLs will elect the speaker, deputy speaker and the premier.

The Mercury