National Freedom Party Launches Election Manifesto Amid Struggles to Rebuild

The National Freedom Party in South Africa launches its election manifesto, aiming to regain lost ground amid leadership battles and declining support. The party's youth call for education reforms to match job market needs.

author-image
Israel Ojoko
Updated On
New Update
National Freedom Party Launches Election Manifesto Amid Struggles to Rebuild

National Freedom Party Launches Election Manifesto Amid Struggles to Rebuild

The National Freedom Party (NFP) launched its election manifesto in Ulundi, KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday, as the party attempts to regain its footing following a series of leadership battles and declining support in recent years.

Young party members at the event expressed desperation for jobs and called for changes to the education system.

Nqobizitha Sithole, the NFP's youth chairperson in Ulundi, said there needs to be a "comprehensive change in the education system," suggesting that learners should be guided into high-demand careers. He proposed that certain courses like nursing and education should not be completely phased out, but rather have a gap of two years between new enrollments to better match the job market.

The NFP, founded by the late Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi in 2011, is seeking to increase its representation in the May 29th polls. The party currently holds just one seat each in the KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature and the National Assembly. Political analysts believe the NFP faces a challenging task to recover from its recent difficulties, which include infighting and the loss of kaMagwaza-Msibi, who passed away in 2021.

At the manifesto launch, party president Ivan Barnes was expected to address the issues facing South Africans. NFP members Nokuthula Mahaye and Kaizer Dladla expressed hopes that the manifesto would outline plans to create jobs, improve service delivery, address security concerns, and expand access to education and funding through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). The party is working to unite and regain the confidence of its supporters.

Why this matters: The struggles of the National Freedom Party reflect the challenges faced by smaller opposition parties in South Africa as they try to gain traction against larger, more established rivals. The NFP's ability to rebuild and connect with voters will be a test of its political resilience and the appeal of its policy proposals.

Once a notable political force in KwaZulu-Natal, the NFP has seen its influence diminish in recent years. The party now holds a single seat in both the provincial legislature and National Assembly, a stark contrast to its previous standing. NFP member Kaizer Dladla acknowledged the party's challenges, saying, "We have to go back to the drawing board and ensure that we unite the party and regain the trust of people on the ground."

Key Takeaways

  • NFP launched election manifesto, aims to regain support after leadership battles
  • Youth call for changes to education system, better matching jobs and courses
  • NFP holds 1 seat each in KZN legislature and National Assembly, faces challenges
  • Party president expected to address issues like jobs, service delivery, security
  • NFP's ability to rebuild and connect with voters will test its political resilience