ANC, NFP hold KZN cards

2011-05-21 00:00

THE African National Congress won big in KwaZulu-Natal and is likely to control more than 50 of the 61 KZN municipalities after the declaration of the results by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) later today.

After the 2006 elections, the ANC controlled only 29 municipalities.

The party looks likely to control nine district municipalities, of which four — Uthungulu (eMpangeni), uMkhanyakude (Jozini), uThukela (Ladysmith) and Amajuba (Newcastle) — were seized from the IFP. It also increased its majority in some the districts it already held — Ugu (Port Shepstone), Sisonke (East Griqualand), uMgungundlovu and Ilembe (Stanger). The ANC retained the eThekwini Metro.

Although the IFP won the Zululand District Municipality with six seats, it failed to acquire an absolute majority, which means that a possible coalition between the ANC (four) and the NFP, which also has four, would unseat the IFP. In Umzinyathi District the ANC and the IFP won four seats each with the DA and the NFP getting a seat each.

Over the next few days, parties are likely to be engaged in serious political horse-trading to decide who will run about 12 municipalities that are hung (without an outright majority).

Those municipalities are Indaka (Waaihoek-Ladysmith), Imbabazane and uMtshezi (Dundee), Okhahlamba (Bergville), Mthon­janeni (Melmoth), Nkandla, uMvoti (Greytown), eMadlangeni (Utrecht), Nqutu and Dannhauser in northern KZN.

The IFP only managed to acquire absolute majority in uMsinga and Ulundi. At Hlabisa where it received eight seats in a 14-seat municipality, a coalition between the ANC and NFP will result in a stalemate.

Among the former IFP local municipalities that were seized by the ANC with an absolute majority are, eNdumeni (Estcourt area), uPhongolo, Abaqulusi (Vryheid), Mfolozi (eMpangeni), Ntambanana (eMpangeni), uMhlabuyalingana, Big Five False Bay and Jozini (uMkhanyakude area), Umlalazi (Eshowe) and Maphumulo (near Stanger). The ANC retained all 29 municipalities it previously held.

The NFP won eDumbe municipality from the IFP with an absolute majority and won the most seats in Nongoma. NFP leader Zanele Magwaza-Msibi said the party’s national working committee (NWC) will meet tomorrow to decide who to form coalitions with — both the IFP and ANC have approached them.

A senior NFP leader who asked not to be named said the NWC is likely to prefer working with the ANC.

“There is no way that the NFP leaders will approve working with the IFP as most of its leadership nearly had their political careers prematurely ended when they were expelled from the IFP and established the NFP. It is also likely that service delivery would be affected by petty squabbles that are likely to emerge should the two parties form a coalition government,” the leader said.

ANC provincial chairperson and premier Dr Zweli Mkhize said the ANC will engage in talks to establish coalition councils once the IEC releases its final results.

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