Member of Parliament, South Africa
Decentralization, Balancing the Central and Local
Wed Feb 17 2010
Peter Smith, a member of South Africa's Parliament, discusses his involvement with the Inkatha Freedom Party, particularly during the talks to end apartheid, to form a new democratic state and to determine its structure. He describes the negotiation process among the different political parties, with the Inkatha party being mainly interested in developing a federal state and safeguarding the role of the Zulu monarchy. Smith also explains the factors that affected his party’s position during the negotiations, including the collusion of the two main parties, the Nationalist Party and the African National Congress; the outbreak of violence; and the spread of propaganda. Although the Inkatha party succeeded in its call for federalism, Smith notes that there were still problems that needed to be resolved: The provinces that were established had limited functional areas, and in spite of their increased legislative powers, they lacked the ability to raise funds necessary for operation.
At the time of this interview, Peter Smith was a member of South Africa's Parliament in the Inkatha Freedom Party. He started working with the party in 1988 as a researcher. Smith was also a participant in the Convention for a Democratic South Africa talks.