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By Itumeleng Mafisa

Digital Journalist

IFP not a regional party or Zulu only party – Buthelezi

The IFP said it was a party for all South Africans, despite being strong in KwaZulu-Natal.

Despite being described as a regional party by some politicians, the IFP said it was expanding in other provinces around South Africa.

Historically the IFP was formed in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) at a time when the ANC and other liberation parties were banned. But decades since the formation of the IFP, some still see it as a tribalist and regional party.

Currently the IFP is still a strong contender in KZN, but the emergence of the MK party and the ANC’s renewal process is seen as a threat to the party.

The Citizen spoke to IFP deputy president Chief Mzamo Buthelezi about the IFP’s growth and prospects in this year’s elections.

“The IFP is telling people of this country to vote for us because we understand better this issue of provinces and local government. People get confused, saying that we are a regional party, but we even have members in the Gauteng legislature,” he said.

IFP policies and manifesto

The IFP said it had a good track record in KwaZulu-Natal. Its core policies include ensuring the upgrades of hostels, ensuring secured borders, and prioritising service delivery in a more localised manner.

“The IFP view is to integrate hostels with part of the township where they are located and then provide all the necessary services,” he said.

Buthelezi said the IFP would ensure that more jobs are reserved for South Africans.

“Only 20% can be reserved for foreign nationals. We are going to industrialise this country and stop this issue of corruption,” he said.

Buthelezi said a R3 000 grant would be introduced for graduates who are unemployed.

“The IFP has policies in place and we are clear of how we are going to address this issue of unemployment,” he said.

In terms of policing, Buthelezi said the IFP would vet all police officers and ensure that there are no rotten potatoes.

He said the party would also ensure that criminals are prosecuted and do not get away with wrongdoing.

ALSO READ: ‘MK, Zuma do not scare us’ – IFP’s Hlabisa

Relationship with ANC

According to Buthelezi, the IFP and the ANC were not so different from each other since the parties had a shared history through the kings and academics who established the ANC in 1912.

“The IFP is a creation of the ANC through front-line leaders who advised the prince to open a membership-based party, and being a member of the ANC, he didn’t just simply wake up and do that,” he said.

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi

Buthelezi said the IFP would be using the face of the party’s patriarch Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who died last year, as a symbol of unity and pride in the party.

“The IFP does not see itself even in years to come without the face of Umtwana. Having his face on our material does not say anything accept that we appreciate who we are,” he said.

ALSO READ: IFP to prioritise South Africans for job and trade opportunities