JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) will try to form a governing coalition that excludes the African National Congress should the ruling party lose its parliamentary majority in national elections next week, the IFP leader said.

Polls suggest the ANC could win between 40-50% of the vote on May 29, which would compel it to seek partnerships with one or more opposition parties to continue governing after 30 years in power.

Political analysts have identified the IFP, a conservative party with an ethnic Zulu base that came fourth in the last election in 2019, as a potential coalition partner for the ANC.

However, IFP leader Velenkosini Hlabisa said the ANC had failed the South African people and he would seek to form other alliances before making a deal with it.

"The ANC has destroyed our country. If you want to rebuild South Africa, it could be a hard thing to bring along a person who destroyed the country and whom people voted out," Hlabisa told Reuters.

"We will explore other opportunities (first)," he said.

The IFP, which currently has 14 seats in the National Assembly, is part of an alliance of opposition parties called the Multi-Party Charter that hopes to oust the ANC. No opinion poll has shown that it could get close to a majority.

If it does not, Hlabisa said it would look to recruit other small parties and independent candidates to help it surpass the 50% mark.

"You don't form a coalition for the sake of it. You form a coalition because you share common views, values, and direction," he said. "If opposed, it can't work."

The ANC has also said a coalition government won't work, pointing to failed power-sharing attempts at the local level.

(Reporting by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Estelle Shirbon and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

By Nellie Peyton