MESSAGE OF SUPPORT BY
PRINCE MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI MP
PRESIDENT OF THE INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY
Ophuzane Sportsfield, eDumbe: 9 May 2018
His Worship the Mayor of Zululand District Municipality, Councillor Thulasizwe Buthelezi; His Worship the Mayor of eDumbe Local Municipality, Councillor Siyabonga Mavuso; Members of the Executive, Councillors and Amakhosi; members of this community.
I am honoured to participate in this visit by the leadership of the Zululand District Municipality as they engage with communities across Zululand on the Integrated Development Plan and the municipal Budget. This visit gives us the opportunity to speak to our leaders, to ask them questions and to get to understand the process of governance a bit better.
As a citizen of Zululand, I am heavily invested in the success of this municipality. I want to see it work, and work well, for the benefit of all the people it serves. I therefore read the IDP and the Budget with great interest, and I am pleased to say that I feel confident in the direction the Municipality is taking.
Today the District Mayor will provide deeper insight, reporting to us on what is planned, what is being done, what has been done, and what is possible. Because I know the Mayor well, I know that he will also be upfront with us about problems that the Municipality has encountered in the delivery of services.
Tragically, local government still receives far less of the State budget than any other sphere of government. Accordingly, municipalities are constrained in what they can do. It thus takes both visionary leadership and careful financial management to meet the most vital needs, and to stretch the budget to also encompass development.
But that is what our leadership in the Zululand District Municipality is working to achieve, because the underlying political belief is that people must be empowered, rather than being kept dependent. This has been my philosophy for decades, and on this basis communities have been uplifted, needs have been met and families have become self-sufficient.
I am therefore excited by the IDP and Budget being presented today, because I believe they are focussed on the right objectives.
I want to assure you, as well, that the leadership of the Zululand District Municipality is committed to serving eDumbe just as it serves Ulundi, Nongoma and Abaqulusi. The IFP doesn’t believe in exchanging service for political allegiance.
We have been serving the community of eDumbe for many years and we have a partnership with the people of this community. Regardless of which party is at the helm in the Local Municipality, we are here to serve the people.
Some of the people of eDumbe even used my name Mangosuthu without even asking for my permission. I did not object then, and I am not objecting now to that use of my name in that manner because I am a servant of the people. I am your servant and my leadership is a servant leadership. It would however be quite dishonest for me not to say that I have really been disappointed by the manner in which the service which I have rendered to the people of eDumbe for more than 40 years has been disregarded by many of you under this municipality. I am not changing from my dedication to your service. I have not been corrupt in all the time I have served you, this Province and the people of South Africa. I wish to thank Comrade Hlatshwayo, our former Mayor and other Comrades who on reflection has rejoined me in our determination to serve the people of eDumbe.
We care deeply about the children of eDumbe, and the pensioners who support their families on an old age grant. We care about the youth who are struggling to finish school, and the job seekers who are battling to find work. We care about developing skills, eradicating crime, strengthening healthcare and building infrastructure. It is important to us that people have enough food to eat, and are able to feel secure.
These are things that matter to the IFP, and we will pursue them on principal for every single South African, regardless of where you live, what you earn or who you vote for. I am proud to know that the IFP has served with this kind of integrity for 43 years.
In the end, it is only a leadership of integrity that will be able to provide good governance. For local government to work, it needs public representatives who are honest, reliable and competent. It needs people who are accountable and who will tell you the truth, rather than just putting on a public relations show.
As I said, our Mayor of Zululand is one of those leaders who tell it like it is. But he and his team are also exceptional in that they are constantly looking for solutions. Municipalities face all sorts of problems and obstacles. The good ones are the ones who seek solutions. They don’t make excuses. They make a plan.
As we listen today to the plans of the Zululand Municipality, I encourage everyone present to feel a sense of ownership. These are your projects, initiated to meet your needs. So ask the questions you want to ask. But find a way to become part of the solution, because local governance always works best when it works as a partnership.
I want to thank the Mayor and his team for coming to eDumbe today. This is democracy in action. Let’s deepen the conversation so that the future of eDumbe will be one of security, prosperity and hope.
I thank you.