ANC, NFP 'divorce' may shake up power in KZN towns

15 May 2016 - 02:00 By NATHI OLIFANT


About 20 municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal would be up for grabs in the August elections should the coalition between the ANC and the National Freedom Party collapse, as is expected. The two parties have had such a tumultuous and fraught coalition in the past five years that leaders on both sides say the parties are better off going it alone.Political observers say the marriage has not worked because many NFP councillors still regard the IFP as their home and have been voting with it.On the back of a five-year deal to share hung municipalities, the coalition took control of 19 municipalities previously run by the IFP after the 2011 local government elections. The IFP only held on to Ulundi and Msinga. However, the IFP has since won back two - President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla and Hlabisa.story_article_left1This week, the ANC and NFP were noncommittal on the renewal of vows.ANC provincial secretary Super Zuma said his party would only talk about possible coalitions after the elections in August."Right now we have a working relationship with the NFP which is a five-year term agreement. For now I cannot say whether we have benefited from it or not. Let's not discuss that now, but our partnership expires on the day of the election," he said.NFP president Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi was optimistic about the tie-up this week -"just like in any marriage or relationship, we had our ups and downs ... we would like to appreciate and concentrate on the positives".However, when asked if the NFP would consider renewing the vows, KaMagwaza-Msibi said: "We can only cross that bridge when we get to it."Zakhele Ndlovu, a senior political lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, said: " I don't see this marriage surviving beyond the August 3 elections. "

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