IFP not opposed to coalition with ANC as a last resort: Hlabisa

IFP leader Velenkosini Hlabisa
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) says it is not closing the door to discussions on forming coalition governments with the African National Congress (ANC) post the May elections.

IFP leader Velenkosini Hlabisa was speaking on the sidelines of a Multi-Party Charter (MPC) media briefing outlining the eleven parties’ plan for social relief for households living in poverty.

Hlabisa says that should the MPC fail to get an outright majority to govern the country, he believes a grand coalition of various small parties will be the answer.

He does say that the IFP could consider talks with the ANC as a last resort.

“We believe in openness. We believe in engagement; we believe in principles. If the principles are not met, we can’t have an agreement even with the ruling party. But if principles are met which we feel will take our country forward, it’s a different matter because an ANC with 20% is a different ANC to that which has abused its majority in government. But our prayer and my prayer is remove the ruling party completely and get people with fresh ideas.”

Speculation remains rife as to whether the MPC will stand the test of time, especially as some of its members are adamant that they will not work with certain parties under any circumstances.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has vowed not to work with the Economic Freedom Fighters EFF, while ActionSA says it will never work with the ANC.

DA leader John Steenhuisen says his party is currently focussed on winning and ensuring that the MPC is in charge post-elections.

Tackling household poverty

Meanwhile, on the election trail, the grouping held its sixth media engagement since its formation, focussing on its social relief targets for households living in poverty.

The MPC says it will increase the child and old age grants to align with the food poverty line, extend social grants to cover pregnant mothers, use a means test to identify genuine social welfare beneficiaries, increase social workers in densely populated areas and create more housing next to economic centres, amongst others.

Leader of the United Independent Movement, Neil De Beer, delivered a simple but unequivocal message, perhaps prompted by fears harboured by some citizens that should the ANC fail to govern after the May elections – grants could become a thing of the past.

VIDEO | IFP not closing the door to coalition discussions with ANC: