NFP queries election funding

2014-02-14 00:00

DAYS before the launch of its manifesto on Sunday, the National Freedom Party (NFP) says a lack of funding could hamper it from mounting an effective election campaign.

This week the NFP questioned the funding of only the parties represented in Parliament and legislatures, saying the funding model undermined fair elections.

Party leader Zanele Magwaza-Msibi said her party relied on limited membership fees and levies from its councillors.

“We receive no funding from government as political parties are funded according to their strength at the national level and provincial legislatures. This limitation no doubt places constraints on the extent and scope of operations,” Magwaza-Msibi said.

She also said the party’s exposure to the public broadcaster was also “extremely limited”.

“We feel strongly as a party this is not fair because it is prejudicial as other parties get an upper hand as we go to the elections, which in turn questions the legitimacy of a free and fair election,” Magwaza-Msibi.

However, Magwaza-Msibi said the NFP put its hopes on “people of goodwill” to come on board and assist her party financially in its election campaign.

Last month, the Economic Freedom Fighters and IFP complained about allocation of election resources by the elections body and other public institutions in favour the ANC.

The NFP was formed in 2011 as a breakaway from the Inkatha Freedom Party. It is co-governing with the ANC in 19 hung municipalities where neither the ANC nor IFP obtained outright majority in the councils.

The party is hoping to take control of KZN in the provincial elections. “If we fail we will definitely be the official opposition,” Magwaza-Msibi said.

“We also want to have significant representation in the National Assembly and in all other provinces. We continue to work hard to achieve these objectives,” she added.

Magwaza-Msibi said people wanted change and an alternative government.

“The people on the ground have expressed deep disappointment in the performance of the present government that failed to meet the reasonable expectations of the people.

“This we have seen through the widespread service delivery protests that in many cases have resulted in violence and police brutality where protesters have been shot and killed.”

She said the NFP has had consultative meetings to get input for its manifesto to be unveiled in Durban on Sunday.

Political analyst Protas Madlala said the NFP was not providing ideological differences from the IFP.

Madlala said he expected the NFP, like other parties, to ask voters to put it in power to fight corruption and speed up service delivery, among other things.

He also said Magwaza-Msibi would use her track record of service delivery as Zululand district mayor to show that her party can do better if given the chance to govern the province.

Madlala said the NFP was unlikely to take control of KZN from the ANC.

However, he said the real contest in the provincial elections would be between the NFP and IFP for the number two spot in the provincial legislature.

“The contest is going to be between the two parties rather than NFP and ANC,” he said.

• mayibongwe.maqhina@witness.co.za

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