‘IFP will place economy in hands of KZN people’

IFP KwaZulu-Natal chairperson and premier candidate, Thami Ntuli.

IFP KwaZulu-Natal chairperson and premier candidate, Thami Ntuli.

Published Apr 8, 2024


Durban — “No foreign national will run a spaza shop after next month’s elections as the IFP prepares to govern KwaZulu-Natal.”

This was a direct message from the IFP KZN chairperson and the party’s premier candidate, Thami Ntuli.

Delivering the party’s 15-point plan to govern the province, Ntuli said taking the economy from the hands of foreigners and giving it to the people of the province was among the top priorities of the IFP.

The IFP will not only immediately take all spaza shops from foreigners, but will also roll out financial assistance to local people to ensure that they control their economy, he said.

To do this efficiently and ensure sustainability, Ntuli said he would ensure that Ithala Bank got back on its feet and was run properly to support small businesses.

The bank is struggling and has failed to meet its financial obligations, which led to the SA Reserve Bank barring it from accepting deposits.

The financial entity falls under the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs led by MEC Siboniso Duma, who is also the ANC provincial chairperson. Ithala Bank was founded by the then KwaZulu government under the late Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi as then chief minister.

Ntuli said in his wide consultative forums with the people of the province, they raised serious concerns about the provincial economy and the collapse of Ithala.

“We will return the provincial economy to the rightful owners by taking all spaza shops from foreigners. It is a duty of the government to protect businesses of the local people from outside forces. Also under us, Ithala will be revived back to its glory,” said Ntuli.

Based on 2020 statistics, KZN was among the three provinces regarded as the poorest, Ntuli said, with 3.8 million people in the province drowning in poverty; the majority of them live in rural areas.

He promised that under the IFP, all amakhosi will be provided with bodyguards to ensure their safety.

Ntuli also revealed that according to Statistics SA, a person in the country needed at least R624 a month to survive, yet the government was giving people R350.

He also touched on the thorny issue of graduates, especially doctors struggling to find jobs, saying under his government all graduates will be given a year-long internship in all government departments and municipalities.

The IFP also vowed to clear all KZN informal settlements. Currently, there are 913 informal settlements.

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