The heat is on and soon, the battle would begin but the ruling party appears to be set to retain power in all provinces in the country. And not only that, the party is also set to sustain political support gained from other political parties.
Speaking in Hlobane near Vryheid at the weekend, ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala opined that after the forthcoming local government election, the ruling party could seek cooperation with other political parties.
Zikalala further disclosed the National Freedom Party as one of the parties the ANC would be renewing cooperation with again.
“We have not ruled out the possibility for cooperation with the NFP again or any other party. The outcome of the local government elections will determine this.”
It is paramount to note that the NFP and the ruling party were in control in 19 municipalities they agreed to co-govern in June 2011. But eventually, the ANC lost two of the municipalities through by-elections and council manoeuvrings.
We will recall that the IFP slammed the ruling party after they entered into a coalition with the NFP. The IFP sarcastically opined that the co-operation between the two parties spell a “dark day for democracy in KwaZulu-Natal”.
However, at the end of the 2011 local government elections, the IFP had an outright majority in Ulundi and Msinga in Tugela Ferry, and won President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla Municipality from the ANC/NFP coalition.
The ANC had a majority in 14, the IFP won in four municipalities (snatching two from the ANC/NFP coalition) and the NFP won in one municipality -Nongoma.
However, following IFP’s victory in four municipalities, the party’s leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi recounted his earlier prediction on NFP-ANC cooperation.
“I repeatedly warned the electorate that a vote for the NFP is a vote for the ANC. Today my warning has been confirmed,” he said.
But this time, the NFP seems to have woken up from sleep as the party has stated that its primary objective in this year’s local government election is to secure victory, and that co-governing with the ANC would be secondary.
Speaking further, NFP secretary-general Professor Nhlanhla Khubisa postulated that “the memorandum of understanding that we have with the ANC ends on election day this year.”
“We will be guided and advised by the party’s NWC and the party members on who we can enter into partnership with should the need arise, not the ANC. But we cannot rule out the partnership again.”
Be that as it may, ANC’s Zikalala still believes that the first thing on the ruling party’s list is to win Pongola, Dumbe (Paulpietersburg) and Vryheid outright in the Zululand district. Then renew cooperation with the NFP.
He also opined that “winning Nongoma and Ulundi will take a long time to accomplish because of the political history of the two towns. Visible service delivery will see us through this,” he said.