The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) said at a press briefing on Sunday that it would not enter into a coalition with the African National Congress (ANC).
IFP is clear: No coalition with ANC
While talks between the IFP and ANC are at a national level, the IFP made its stance clear when it comes to local governance in KwaZulu-Natal:
“Where we govern as the IFP, we will not get into a coalition with the ANC. […] We will engage them, but we’ll be expressing our position in terms of a coalition”.
The party said talks between the IFP and ANC are ongoing and “deal with broad national issues of reconciliation, not local governance”.
Provincial ‘issues with ANC leadership’
While the IFP said it has “issues with ANC leadership in KZN”, these issues are on a provincial level, and not with the ANC government as a whole.
“Those talks are still ongoing. […] Those talks are still taking their course and have no bearing on local governance in KZN”.
Meanwhile, the ANC on Sunday said parties must “look beyond party confines to service” South Africans.
Service delivery in KZN
The IFP, in turn, said it would “continue to excel and deliver services” in KwaZulu-Natal.
“We excel. That’s why we win wards”.
The party said while they feel “very strongly” about how the province should be run, they will still “definitely open doors for discussion” at a later stage.
IFP and EFF?
A coalition between the IFP and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) could be beneficial to both parties, especially since the EFF has a strong following in Durban.
The IFP said it is open to talks with the EFF, and believe they could have a meaningful discussion despite their slight differences.
“We differ very little with the EFF, it’s just that we say expropriation with compensation”.
The EFF on Friday released a framework for parties who wish to enter into a coalition. One of the conditions is that land expropriation without compensation should be sped up within the next six months.
South Africans react
One netizen thanked the IFP for rejecting a coalition with ANC, saying the party’s decision will only increase political competition and speed up service delivery.
Another user, Siyabonga Mchunu, said: “The IFP would rather eat an entire jar of the pickled eggs on a gas station counter than go into a coalition with the ANC.”
“IFP has done more in rural KZN in terms of infrastructure than the ANC. Their old leader may be a sellout, but bona they did deliver when KZN was under IFP”, a user said on YouTube.
Another user, known only as MmQwashu, said: “Much respect to Mr Velenkosi Hlabisa and the IFP. No one must work with corrupt and dishonest ANC. […]. How do you fight corruption working with a corrupt coalition partner?”