NFP gunning for 19 hung KZN municipalities
Sat, 18 Jun 2016 06:52:49
The National Freedom Party (NFP) has its focus on 19 hung municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal, where no party received an outright majority in the 2011 municipal elections.
NFP leader, Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, is expected to launch the party’s election manifesto in Vryheid in northern KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday ahead of the upcoming local government elections.
It will be the first time she appears in public since November 2014 after having suffered from a stroke.
Seventeen of the municipalities are controlled through a coalition between the party and the African National Congress (ANC).
A further two went back to the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) after by-elections.
NFP Secretary-General, Nhlanhla Khubisa, says their first targets are the hung municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal that are co-governed by the ANC/NFP coalition.
“There were these municipalities, 19 of them that were not won by any party out rightly, therefore it was incumbent that there be parties that come together and therefore we signed a memorandum of understanding with the ANC. But our MOU with the ANC is coming to an end as we go to the elections but we are eyeing those municipalities. We want to take them. We want to ensure that we govern those municipalities alone as the NFP.”
The party was formed just a few months before the 2011 municipal elections.
During those elections, it managed to gain 200 councillor seats in provinces such as KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Western Cape.
It won Nongoma and eDumbe municipalities in northern KwaZulu-Natal with an outright majority and became king makers in 19 municipalities.
But the NFP, just like other parties, had its own fair share of challenges.
Soon after the party leader fell ill, the party was almost torn apart due to internal rifts.
Khubisa says they have sailed through the high tides and he hopes they will do well, even out of KwaZulu-Natal.
The party says it is not shaken with the formation of a new break away party, the Academic Congress Union, led by some former NFP leaders.
Khubisa believes their election manifesto seeks to respond to what he calls a snail’s pace in the provision of municipal services such as electricity, water and sanitation.