IFP, ANC, DA, NFP coalition triumphs over MK Party in KZN

Your challenges will be my priority — KZN premier elect Ntuli

IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa and the party's KZN chairperson Thami Ntuli at the memorial service of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi in Ulundi. Photo: SANDILE NDLOVU
IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa and the party's KZN chairperson Thami Ntuli at the memorial service of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi in Ulundi. Photo: SANDILE NDLOVU
Image: SANDILE NDLOVU

KwaZulu-Natal's new premier Thami Ntuli says his government has a mammoth task ahead to confront the challenges the people of the province are facing. 

He thanked voters for the opportunity to lead them, assuring them that their challenges would be his priority.

Ntuli was elected on Thursday by a coalition of the IFP, ANC, DA and NFP to lead the government in the province. He beat the MK Party's Phathisiswe Chiliza, who was supported by the EFF, by 41 votes to 39.

The coalition combined votes to get 41 seats, enough to form a provincial government.

The MK Party, which received the most votes in KwaZulu-Natal in the recent elections, giving it 37 seats in the provincial legislature, was unable to form a coalition. Its only partner became the EFF with just two seats, which was insufficient to form a provincial government.

Ntuli said he was not worried that the people of KwaZulu-Natal would reject his premiership and the coalition due to the absence of the MK Party in government. 

“What is important are the priorities of the people of KwaZulu-Natal, issues of service delivery. We take forward the mandate of the electorate, of people who want to deliver. Even that 45% will understand the significance of this government,” he said.

Ntuli added he had no concerns about the stability of the four-party coalition as they had discussed a coalition framework during talks. He said his executive and priorities would be announced during his swearing in on Tuesday.

He was nominated by the ANC's Nomagugu Simela and seconded by the DA's Francois Rogers.

Other office bearers elected on Thursday included the ANC's Nontembeko Boyce as speaker. She was re-elected with 41 votes from the coalition, beating former ANC MP Mervyn Dirks who defected to the MK Party.

Dirks was nominated by the MK Party and supported by the EFF but their 39 votes could not secure the position.

For the position of deputy speaker, Mmabatho Tembe of the DA, nominated by Sipho Hlomuka of the ANC, won, beating the MK Party nominee Ishana Barciela. Tembe was previously DA spokesperson for social development.

Ntuli takes over as premier of KwaZulu-Natal after years in local government, first in the Nkandla local municipality as a councillor and most recently as mayor of King Cetshwayo district municipality.

He is the IFP's KwaZulu-Natal chairperson.

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