IFP hopes to gain from ANC faction fighting
THE ANC in Kwazulu-natal will lose votes to the IFP and the DA in national elections next year unless it gets its house in order, analysts predict.
Professor Bheki Mngomezulu, politics lecturer at the University of the Western Cape, said: “If the ANC delays in dealing with factions, a party like the IFP would make inroads in the province and further regain its strength.”
Independent analyst Thabani Khumalo said the IFP was regaining ground lost in the 2011 local government elections.
“The IFP is consistent in regaining lost ground since 2011 and they have a strong leadership,” Khumalo said.
The IFP in Kwazulu-natal believed the factionalism in the governing ANC had opened the door for it to regain lost votes.
Winning a number of by-elections in the past year in the province had shown the IFP’S growth, said IFP MP Narend Singh.
“There is no doubt that the factions in the ANC will benefit political parties and already we have people talking to us about moving their support,” he said. The IFP was on an upward trajectory and as much as it had been entertaining the talks of ANC supporters shifting, “the strength is in the number of seats we take away from the ANC”, he said.
The IFP had already won by-elections in Jozini and Eshowe, and Singh said the party’s aim now was to target urban areas.
“It is very interesting times for South Africa,” he said.
“Voters need to look hard and clear at who they choose to support. We have been a sensible opposition and that has taken us out of the valley and on the rise.”
The IFP was looking to show voters it could offer Kwazulunatal a stable government free from corruption, Singh said.
Like Mngomezulu, Khumalo believed the IFP was the only party in the South African political landscape that was displaying signs of stability. Tensions between the pro-cyril Ramaphosa ANC faction and those aligned to former president Jacob Zuma reached boiling point in the Moses Mabhida region (Pietermaritzburg) this week when men believed to be the bodyguards of some mayors drew guns on party members during a consultative meeting in Howick. Mngomezulu said this was part of the fallout of the ANC’S elective conference in December when Ramaphosa won the post of party leader.
Any chaos in the ANC’S three biggest regions, ethekwini, Moses Mabhida and Musa Dladla (Empangeni/ Richards Bay), would cost the ANC in the elections, said Mngomezulu.
“And I don’t think this will go away any time soon,” said Mngomezulu.
The ANC was in a race against time to regroup and start campaigning as a unit rather than being centred on certain individuals, he said.
The DA was likely to benefit but not as significantly as the IFP from the rumblings in the ANC, he said.
Additional reporting by