The African National Congress (ANC) and Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) breakaway party, the National Freedom Party (NFP), will work together in all hung municipalities the province.
“The ANC and NFP have agreed to enter into a co-operative relationship to constitute a governing partnership to administer over the identified municipal councils wherein the two parties have demonstrated voter support,” (ANC) provincial chairperson Dr Zweli Mkhize said on Monday.
The May 18 local government elections resulted in 19 hung municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal. The ANC had a majority in 14 of them, the IFP in four and the NFP one – in Nongoma.
If the ANC-NFP pact worked, the IFP would be left in control of only Ulundi and Umsinga. The IFP had the highest number of municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal after the 2006 local government elections.
The agreement announced on Monday was concluded after days of negotiations between the two parties. The IFP had approached the NFP to form coalitions, but the latter said it would not start coalition talks with the IFP until it publicly apologised for comments about the splinter group before the elections. The IFP had accused the NFP of being an ANC project aimed at destabilising the IFP.
Mkhize said the ANC-NFP relationship was not based on “political whims”.
“It has been founded on the understanding that the communities under the municipalities that will be co-governed by the ANC and the NFP have instructed us to work together to speed up service delivery.”
Both parties would retain their independent identity, ethos, policies and right to publicly articulate their views.