Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi. (News24)
Durban - The DA on Thursday pledged to support the IFP in securing hung municipal councils in KwaZulu-Natal, in exchange for its support in Gauteng.
The partnership would put the needs of the people first, IFP provincial chairperson Blessed Gwala said at a joint press briefing.
"The significant increase in support for the IFP in KwaZulu-Natal confirms that the electorate has rejected the ANC/NFP coalition that took over 19 hung municipalities in 2011," he said.
Each party would maintain its own identity, but councillors would work together at a local level to ensure the electorate’s will was respected.
DA provincial leader Zwakele Mncwango said the IFP would govern the municipalities and the DA would support it in its decision-making process. Better service delivery would be at the top of their agenda.
They stressed there was no coalition and that the marriage was born out of necessity, and limited to hung councils where power could be wrested from the ANC.
The IFP stood to gain a dominant foothold in 11 councils and in three district municipalities in the province.
The co-governance agreement document the parties signed spells out how to deal with misunderstandings or disagreements.
"The DA acknowledges that such agreements are engineered and sustained through trust and that consensus on any matter needs to be reached," Mncwango said.
He said the ANC had repeatedly approached him for coalition talks, but this had stalled because the ruling party refused to put its overtures in writing.