IFP ON TRACK AS ANC LOSE CONTROL
*Caption: Councilor/Whip of councilors (Durban Metro), Ntombifuthi Gumede
Written by: Mluleki Mdletshe
The room is quite; all you can hear are sounds of air conditioners as you walk through the reception door of the place. It is the middle of the day and the sun seems to be closer to the buildings, especially this one. The two people at reception, a lady and a man, look like they’ve been here since yesterday but do not mind being here.
Do not let this mislead you though, because once you step inside the room you know you’re not lost. The walls are painted with posters with the famous three elephants, the iconic Mangosuthu Buthelezi and article after article about the Inkatha Freedom Party and Dr Buthelezi.
The atmosphere inside is not as tense as you might expect – after all, it’s just a place where community members come to collect documents like councillor’s letters and proof of residence, so it comes as no surprise hearing the telephone noises and fax machines ringing every two seconds. People walking in and out of this busy waiting room open your eyes to the dedication of this political party when it comes to serving the community.
Inside one of the offices sits an energetic, young lady who seems to be the busiest person in the building. You can hear her on the phone the second you step in reception. Her office is flooded with files and cupboards filled with files and approximately three cellphones and 2 telephones on her desk.
As we leave August and elections behind, a clarity on future plans from political parties may be in order. Inkatha Freedom Party has some major plans for the country after the municipal elections were held. Ntombifuthi Gumede highlights that even though the elections did not necessarily go as they planned, the party is still headed in the right direction towards the next elections the country will hold.
“The support is ever growing, we have a long-term plan as far as national elections are concerned and we will be ready,” stated Gumede.
During the past municipal elections, the IFP managed to secure power in two eThekwini wards which are Ward 39 (KwaMashu) as well as Ward 89 (Umlazi) respectively. According to Ntombifuthi, this long-term plan involves better housing for the wards controlled by the party and better service delivery with the new councillors having been elected.
“Comrade M.S Gwala is now the councillor or Ward 39 and M.B Mjadu in Ward 89, and the people as well as the party, backs them to do an impeccable job,” adds Gumede.
Asked on the issue of corruption local elections, Ntombifuthi feels that some changes need to be made before the next elections.
“You find that the people monitoring the elections are elected by the ruling party and so we cannot be content with that,” she said.
On a different scale, the ANC admits that the people may not be happy with service delivery and definitely used the past municipal elections to show this. In a brief meeting, Darkie Mtshali revealed what may have led to the ANC’s disappointment with their supporters in the elections in uMhlathuze.
“There were many riots and protests leading up the elections in various parts of the uMhlathuze area, most of which were complaints about the leadership of the party in this area,” he said.
Mtshali, who is the former Chairperson of the ANC in uMhlathuze, now occupies the role of Treasurer in the branch. He goes on to add that there have also been demarcations by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) which have also led to the ANC and other parties losing votes in the elections.
“More than 20 000 spoilt papers were reported in KZN alone, so that is a setback not just for the ANC, but for other parties as well,” Mtshali concluded.