The IFP will relocate the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature, currently in Pietermaritzburg, to Ulundi should the party win the 2024 provincial elections.
This was revealed by IFP president, Velenkosini Hlabisa, during a rally in Eshowe in northern KZN, on Sunday.
Addressing throngs of IFP supporters, Hlabisa said the old KZN legislature in Ulundi will be a hub of activity should the party dislodge the ANC from power in the next provincial elections.
The legislature building in Ulundi will not lie idle if the IFP takes over power in the next election. We will return the KZN Legislature where it belongs – to Ulundi.Velenkosini Hlabisa
Prior to the 1994 democratic elections, Ulundi was the seat of both the provincial legislature and the provincial government – using buildings erected when the town was the site of the KwaZulu government.
However, when the ANC dislodged the IFP from power in the province the ruling party relocated both the government headquarters and legislature to Pietermaritzburg. An IFP stronghold, Ulundi is also the home of IFP founder, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
The town is also about 80 km away from Zulu King, Misuzulu kaZwelithini’s Khangelamankingane Palace in Nongoma – much closer than Pietermaritzburg. Hlabisa said the only way the IFP could reward its founder Buthelezi – who launched the party in 1975, is to win the 2024 provincial elections and rescind the ANC’s decision to relocate the provincial legislature.
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“After everything he has done for the IFP and the people of this province, the only way to reward him is through ensuring that we claim back the province in the 2024 elections. “If we don’t return the IFP to power in KZN, then we would have failed uMntwana Kaphindengene (Buthelezi)” he said.
Hlabisa’s statement was made at the back of plans by the ANC-led provincial government to upgrade state buildings in Pietermaritzburg. The plan will see the construction of a provincial government precinct which will accommodate the province’s more than 5 000 workers.
While the construction of the precinct would cost billions of rands, the provincial public works department claims that the construction would be a drop in the ocean when compared to the large sums of money it is currently paying in rental fees. According to the department’s estimates, the precinct would cost close to R7 billion to construct.
Hlabisa said the IFP was opposed to the provincial government’s plans. “As the IFP we have always maintained that relocating the Legislature to Pietermaritzburg was a big mistake,” he said.