Undermined, overlooked and isolated: IFP explains why they chose ANC over DA

The IFP spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa explained their move to join forces with the ANC.
The IFP spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa explained their move to join forces with the ANC.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

The IFP has broken its silence over the decision to ditch the DA coalition and vote for an ANC mayor in Johannesburg, revealing that the DA had a culture of undermining them.

Since the local government elections in 2016, the City of Johannesburg was governed by the DA through a multi-party coalition which included IFP, UDM, Cope and other parties, including the EFF who regularly voted with the democrats.

However, the IFP shocked many last week when its five councillors voted for ANC’s Geoff Makhubo in the hotly contested election instead of the DA’s Funzi Ngobeni.

Following his successful election as mayor, Makhubo appointed two IFP councillors Nonhlanhla Makhuba and Mlungisi Mabaso as part of his ten members of mayoral committee (MMCs) who are expected to be sworn in today.

Explaining reasons behind their move to join forces with the ANC, the IFP spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said that they had to come to a difficult decision following their treatment in the coalition.

“The set of circumstances which have prevailed in the City of Johannesburg have been very difficult to navigate, and ultimately hard choices had to be made. The Cooperation Agreement which was concluded in 2016 has not been without its problems and at every material point of difficulty the IFP has remained committed to the agreement,” Hlengwa said.

“At times in the City of Johannesburg we have been undermined, overlooked and isolated; contrary to the dictates of the Cooperation Agreement, but despite these challenges we have pressed on.”

The relationship between the DA and the IFP soured when former mayor Herman Mashaba axed an IFP’s Mzobanzi Ntuli as the housing MMC.

At the time, the IFP said that Mashaba’s decision to remove Ntuli was “dubious” as he was turning the department around.

Mkhuleko today said that the resignation of Mashaba was supposed to be an opportunity for the coalition to fix some of the issues they experienced under him, but the fielding of mayors by both the DA and EFF - who were in an agreement – showed that the relationship had ended.

“Therefore, the decision to vote with the ANC was done in the collective interests of service delivery and to restore stability.

“The Citizens of the City of Johannesburg could not be subjected to playing second fiddle to party politicking with service delivery being brought to a halt.

“The IFP will maintain its individual identity and uphold its values. The IFP in agreeing to work with the ANC does not become an extension of the ANC; just as it was not an extension of the DA in the previous arrangement,” Hlengwa said.

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