Hundreds of Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) members gathered at KwaDukuza’s sports field in Ward 5 on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal. The party is campaigning ahead of Wednesday’s by-election.

Party President Velenkosini Hlabisa told his members that they are ready for the upcoming municipal elections later this year.

The IFP leaders urged supporters in the Lindeni area to vote in honour of their late longest-serving councillor Jabulani Sibiya. They regard Ward 5 of KwaDukuza municipality as their stronghold.

Wednesday’s polls are the first batch of by-elections to be held after the IEC postponed the votes when the country battled its second wave of COVID-19.Hlabisa says that only the third wave of COVID-19 might hamper campaigning and could prompt the postponement of the municipal elections.

“That will be a practicality. Should the third wave kick in during the winter period, it will be practically difficult for every political party to campaign door-to-door. That is a reality. The IFP is ready for the Local Government Elections if the COVID-19 will not be a disturbance; if the country can remain to Alert Level 1 it is (on) today. Because we did it last year November, where the IFP performed very well. We took the ward from the ANC in Nkandla, we retained our ward at Nqutu.”

Reaction to allegations against councillor

Answering to allegations that their previous councillor was accused of selling low cost houses, Hlabisa says the party acted and resolved that matter.

“We did follow up that matter, (as) councillor Sibiya, as well as our structures here at Lindelani and we resolved all matters. The IFP, whenever people raise an issue we do not run away, but we come closer. That is why we are not ashamed of coming here today because we know that all issues today raised, we attended to them.”

One of the Lindelani residents, who is also an IFP member, Zithulele Ngubane says they have full confidence that the party will retain the ward.

“I heard the President’s Speech and we trust him to ensure our incoming councillor will deliver services for us under the banner of the IFP, because it is the only political party we trust. Our party fights corruption. This coming Wednesday my vote is not a secret.”

The party will be contesting all wards in the upcoming by-elections in KwaZulu-Natal. The IFP vowed to retain the municipality they are governing and also extend the number of councillors in the upcoming municipal elections.