The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) will contest municipal elections for the first time in Limpopo next month. The party is on an election campaign trail in Thohoyandou led by national chairperson Blessed Gwala.

The party will contest elections in seven municipalities in the province, including Thulamela and Collins Chabane local municipalities.

Gwala says it was difficult for the IPF to contest municipal elections in Limpopo as some people regard them as a regional party.

Gwala says they will contest all wards in the Collins Chabane and Thulamela local municipalities.

He however says they are contesting municipal elections in five other municipalities in Limpopo, including Giyani, Fetakgomo-Tubatse and Phalaborwa local municipalities. He says voters must realise that the party has arrived in Limpopo to stay.

“IFP was banned here so we were not allowed to campaign here. We are not actually contesting two municipalities, we contest Makhuduthamaga, we contest Greater Tubatse we contest Phalaborwa, Greater Giyani we are building up for this local government elections and also in 2024 the IFP is here to stay and is here forever.”

Some IFP councillor candidates in the province expressed excitement about the arrival of the party in the local government contest.

“Most of the places where IFP is leading have water, sewerage, there are many things here in my province they can do. Our party doesn’t have a history of corruption so I’m encouraging people.”

As political parties are having a tough time convincing people to vote for them in next month’s municipal elections, some people in Thohoyandou say they want politicians to fulfill their promises.

“We would like to see the change that we were promised in 1994, I want the youth to be employed… Since 1994 until today there’s no creation of jobs.”

The IFP’s former leader, Inkosi Mangosutu Buthelezi campaigned in Limpopo before the national elections in 2019, where they got 655 votes. The party hopes to perform better in the province this time around.

IFP on the campaign trail in Limpopo: 

– report by Michael Makungo and Koketso Motau