29th Youth Brigade Annual General Conference (2007) (English)

INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY ANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE IFP YOUTH BRIGADE ON THE THEME

YOUTH AS CHAMPIONS IN ANY CRISIS”

EMANDLENI/MATLENG, ULUNDI : 7-9 DECEMBER 2007

RESOLUTIONS

The Annual General Conference of the IFP Youth Brigade met in Ulundi on December 7-9, 2007 and unanimously adopted the following:

RESOLUTION 1: IFP YOUTH SEEKING QUALITY EDUCATION FOR ALL

Conference:

  1. ACKNOWLEDGES the enormous challenges facing the national Ministry of Education and Provincial education authorities;
  2. REGRETS the fact that many of our learners receive poor quality primary and secondary education and that this, effectively, cripples their future tertiary education and employment prospects;
  3. STATES that if this situation does not change the continuing marginalization of the poor –- and particularly the rural poor — will continue with obvious regrettable and long-term consequences;
  4. BELIEVES that in these circumstances the youth of South Africa, many of whom are the poorest of the poor, must embrace self-help and self-reliance and prepare themselves as leaders so as to exert influence into decision-making affecting their lives;
  5. DEPLORES the huge “quality” gap between urban and rural schools, many of whom are failing to deliver;
  6. CLEARLY IDENTIFIES the need for greater accountability and higher performance within our schools system;
  7. SUPPORTS calls for a thorough reassessment of our education and training system;
  8. CONDEMNS the virtual collapse of many of the SETA’s and believes their role must be urgently re-evaluated;
  9. REQUESTS government to encourage private enterprise to be far more involved in formal and accredited skills training;
  10. EMPHASISES the critical necessity for our education system to produce employable individuals who will address national skills requirements;
  11. FURTHER ACKNOWLEDGES that the constructive involvement of parents and guardians in our homes and places of learning is pivotal in producing successful students and flourishing educational environments in spite of disadvantaged circumstances.

RESOLUTION 2: IFP YOUTH SALUTE HARD WORKING TEACHERS AND CALL FOR DISCIPLINE AND RESPECTFUL ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIOUR

Conference:

  1. RECOGNISES and applauds the enormous sacrifices made by many teachers in producing outstanding results in often extremely difficult conditions in which overall teacher morale is acknowledged to be low;
  2. SUPPORTS initiatives recommending that these outstanding teachers should receive salary bonuses and other incentives commensurate with the pass rates and conducive learning environments they have been instrumental in producing;
  3. CONDEMNS teachers who place self-interest before that of their chosen vocation;
  4. CALLS for more rigid and transparent assessments of all educators throughout all departments to ensure that failing teachers and failing bureaucrats do not continue to fail learners;
  5. REQUESTS education authorities and union bodies to fully investigate and openly deal with the increasing and alarming number of nationwide reports of the sexual abuse of learners by educators; reports of teachers consistently arriving late; reports of teachers arriving drunk and reports of teachers abandoning classrooms for lengthy periods of time;
  6. APPEALS to education authorities, parents and guardians to insist on disciplined and respectful behaviour at all times from both educators and learners and that all concerned should be made to clearly understand that insolence, laziness and insubordination will not be tolerated;
  7. PLEADS that no matter how dilapidated school facilities in some areas may be, IFP youth should take a leadership role in instilling pride and respect for the surroundings in which there is teaching and learning and that they should do everything possible to promote that school communities in general should eradicate all litter and keep classrooms and all other areas clean and tidy.

RESOLUTION 3: IFP YOUTH SUPPORT THE NEED FOR INNOVATION IN EDUCATION

Conference:

  1. ACKNOWLEDGES reports of various efforts being made worldwide to reform struggling school systems in which most often the poor are further penalised;
  2. BELIEVES education authorities throughout South Africa should not be rigid, should be open to innovation and be prepared to replicate new ideas when and where possible;
  3. CALLS on students to find ways and means to research education systems and curricula on the African Continent and internationally and to show leadership in debating their views on our own system of education and curricula versus others elsewhere;
  4. HAS LEARNED of the success to date of independently run experimental “Charter” public schools which are expanding across the United States and which appear to be producing excellent results;
  5. APPLAUDS philanthropists who are actively supporting these schools and queries why more of South Africa’s burgeoning middle class and the super rich beneficiaries of Black Economic Empowerment are not seen to be more actively involving themselves in helping poor scholars from disadvantaged communities receive quality education;
  6. NOTES with interest that these experimental schools are being given greater flexibility in return for greater accountability by principals and that the budgets of schools that do well are boosted and schools that fail are immediately closed;
  7. SUPPORTS initiatives of this kind which demand accountability and which are fully in line with IFP policy;
  8. CALLS for IFP public representatives to study these reported educational experiments and to ascertain whether it would be feasible and/or possible for such public schools to be replicated in South Africa.

RESOLUTION 4: IFP YOUTH DEMAND DEFAMATORY “IN SEARCH OF HISTORY” BOOK TO BE WITHDRAWN AND NOT DISTRIBUTED

Conference:

  1. HAS EXAMINED the Grade 12 Learner’s Book “In Search of History” (Oxford University Press Southern Africa – J. Bottaro, P. Visser, N Worden) reported to be distributed to learners by the Education Department throughout the country next year;
  2. BELIEVES this book and certain of its content including cartoons, purporting to portray contemporary history, to be highly defamatory of the President of the Inkatha Freedom Party and the Party he has been elected to lead;
  3. DEMANDS that the distribution of this book be halted forthwith;
  4. EMPHASISES that our President has acted and continues to act at all times on our behalf and at the behest of the Party and therefore any imputation as is contained in the book of a lack of political integrity on his behalf is an attack on us all.

RESOLUTION 5: IFP YOUTH HELPING TO MAKE OUR PLACES OF LEARNING SAFE AND FREE FROM VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION

Conference:

  1. RECOGNISES that widespread intimidation and bullying of learners by fellow students is a reality in many schools as is the proliferation of gangs;
  2. FURTHER RECOGNISES that both teachers and learners are being violently assaulted by weapons such as knives and guns by students and by intruders on school premises;
  3. REGRETS that parents and family members of learners have also been identified as assailants of both students and teachers;
  4. BELIEVES also that the recent shocking research reports of the extent of the sadistic sexual harassment of large numbers of both young girls and boys by their classmates, often kept secret, must be urgently addressed;
  5. ENCOURAGES that children be sensitively and appropriately informed that aberrant behaviour does tragically exist in society, that victims must be encouraged to identify their tormentors and that all concerned must be assisted by the appropriate professional personnel in this regard;
  6. BLAMES the consequences of hideous living and social conditions for much of this perverse behaviour;
    FULLY SUPPORTS recent legislation providing for random search and seizure and drug testing at schools;
  7. ACKNOWLEDGES that medical intervention including therapeutic counselling and also disciplinary measures may be appropriate in some cases of violent anti-social behaviour such as bullying but that harsh penalties should be sought for general crimes perpetrated on school premises as a warning that these actions will exact severe consequences;
  8. CALLS for all members and supporters to show leadership and to mobilize against all forms of bullying and intimidation and to speak out about the criminality and tragedy that surrounds the activity of gangs.

RESOLUTION 6: IFP YOUTH WISHING ALL HARD-WORKING MATRICULATION CANDIDATES SUCCESS AFTER THEIR DIFFICULT YEAR

Conference:

  1. WISHES all hard-working matriculation candidates the success they deserve;
  2. ACKNOWLEDGES the difficulties faced by learners this year as a result of the disruptive wage negotiations resulting in lengthy teacher absences;
  3. APPLAUDS those teachers who attempted to assist learners in making up for lost lessons and who did everything possible to prepare their students properly;
  4. URGES those candidates who are not successful not to give up but to try again and to double their efforts to ensure success next year;
  5. ONCE AGAIN urges the youth of the IFP, and those who have successfully matriculated, to show leadership in coming together to help and to mentor struggling students who need assistance with regard to various subject matters;
  6. REQUESTS all those who are now contemplating further tertiary studies to give serious thought to technical and further education in various trade skills which are in short supply throughout South Africa;
  7. SUPPORTS the view that more is needed to be done in the education sector to address curriculum content and quality challenges as well as the need to improve links with out of school training.

RESOLUTION 7: IFP YOUTH CALL FOR EDUCATION DEPARTMENT “HEADS TO ROLL” AFTER FOREIGN DONOR FUNDING BUNGLING AND PROCUREMENT SCANDALS

Conference:

  1. BELIEVES that “heads should roll” following the reported scandal that the Education Department was forced to forfeit R323-million in unspent European Union foreign donor funding meant to build classrooms, nutrition centres and to provide water, sanitation and electricity to schools in the Eastern Cape, Limpopo and KwaZulu Natal;
  2. ASKS how this kind of incompetence and inability to implement can be tolerated by the departments concerned and requests detailed and public explanations in this regard;
  3. CALLS on the Minister of Education and provincial education authorities to fully explain how this happened and to put in place efficient and effective mechanisms to ensure that all donor funding is from now on fully utilized in the time frames required;
  4. DEMANDS that specific annual reports regarding all education-related local and foreign donor funding be made public and widely distributed;
  5. IS OUTRAGED that contractors providing textbooks, stationery and other materials for schools in Gauteng are reported to be charging as much as R13, 87 for a pencil;
  6. QUERIES if this is not happening elsewhere throughout the country and has yet to be exposed;
  7. REQUESTS an national investigation into all tenders/contracts relating to the supply of all materials to schools whose governing bodies have been ordered by education departments to accept pupil support materials provided to them by certain companies instead of being allowed to handle their own finances in this regard;
  8. EXPECTS IFP youth to show leadership in exposing and speaking out about all forms of corruption and the misuse of public funds as well as condemning the way in which the ANC is reported to be using a “front” company (Chancellor House) to gain access to State contracts – the latest being a R20 billion plus Eskom contract – and lest we not forget the so-called “Oilgate” Petro SA/Imvume Management scandal.

RESOLUTION 8: IFP YOUTH CALL FOR A DEDICATED YOUTH MINISTRY

Conference:

  1. DEMANDS that the Youth Commission be scrapped as it has proved to be an expensive and worthless experiment lacking any meaningful direction and output;
  2. DEPLORES the ridiculous salaries and expenses paid to ongoing Youth Commissioners whose reports and attempted unsuccessful initiatives over many years have lacked depth and insight and have not met the needs of the country’s youth in any way whatsoever;
  3. ACCEPTS that many of the Commissioners over past years have meant well and have worked hard in their own ways but that, nevertheless, the Commission as it is presently constituted lacks the capacity required, credibility and the ability to drive the implementation needed;
  4. RECOGNISES that the Commission has degenerated into a body in which the ANC alliance, for the most part, promotes and protects its party faithful and in which cronyism abounds;
  5. CALLS for an independent analysis, as a matter of urgency, of the Commission’s actual work from its inception to date to prove once and for all how meaningless this body really is;
  6. PLEADS for a dedicated Youth Ministry located in the Presidency to address the crucial, complex and multi-faceted needs of the country’s youth.

RESOLUTION 9: IFP YOUTH CONDEMN THE SPIRALLING ABUSE OF WOMEN AND YOUTH IN OUR LAND AND CRIMINALITY IN GENERAL

Conference:

  1. CONDEMNS the ongoing rape and general abuse of women and youth in our land and criminality in general;
  2. ACCEPTS that gender-based violence and most other violent and deviant behaviour is learned and experienced in our homes and that many victims often know the perpetrators of the crimes against them, especially those of a sexual nature;
  3. ACKNOWLEDGES research which points to a clear link between early childhood trauma and violent behaviour later in life;
  4. BELIEVES that poverty, drug and alcohol abuse and sexist attitudes can, in part, be directly related to family violence and other criminal activity and therefore requires constructive community leadership as well as socio-political and direct government intervention;
  5. RECOGNISES that IFP youth have a leadership role to play in working within their communities to eradicate the current and obvious apathy of many towards sexist behaviour, gender-based abuse and other forms of violence;
  6. REQUESTS IFP youth to actively campaign against crime and to help all who need assistance either from social services or the South African Police Service to make these contacts;
  7. PLEADS with government to strictly regulate the advertising of alcohol and tobacco and to stop the proliferation of shebeens and illegal liquor outlets in our communities;
  8. IS APPALLED that some municipalities are said to support the legalization of these shebeens;
  9. ASKS why these illegal shebeens are not closed down by the SAPS and why police personnel are not strictly prohibited from patronizing these establishments as many openly do;
  10. CALLS for educational programmes to teach parents (including teenage parents) desperately-needed parenting skills and conflict resolution techniques;
  11. SUPPORTS the call for Early Childhood Centres and social “investment” in children from a very young age;
  12. URGES Government to commit resources to provide safe care and supportive and nurturing environments for vulnerable children within communities;
  13. QUERIES why Child Protection Units are not more visible and accessible;
  14. FURTHER calls for national child and youth protection strategies to be devised and implemented, including those proposed by Childline which include: improved after-school care and the training of health-care professionals, teachers and others to be cognizant of signs of stress or abuse among children;
  15. REQUIRES members and supporters to do everything they can to assist working parents in poor and violence-prone communities, where child abuse is known to be prevalent, to help to arrange holiday care and entertainment for school children during the forthcoming school holidays.

RESOLUTION 10: IFP YOUTH CONTINUING TO SUPPORT THE “RESPECT FOR ALL” CAMPAIGN AND URGING HIGH STANDARDS OF BEHAVIOUR IN COMBATING HIV-AIDS AND TEENAGE PREGNANCY

Conference:

  1. CALLS for young men and women to respect the integrity of their own bodies and those of others and for the youth of the IFP to show obvious discipline and leadership in this regard;
  2. REALISES that exemplary standards set by adults and various forms of education are key to inculcating responsible behaviour in youth from an early age;
  3. BELIEVES that HIV-AIDS prevention and gender sensitivity/education campaigns should be integrated and further exhorts members to constantly reiterate the ABC mantra: Abstain, Be Faithful and Condomise;
  4. URGES that studies showing that inadequate food and HIV infection are inextricably linked (in that women who don’t get enough to eat are far more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviour) be taken extremely seriously in that hunger is seen as a major stumbling block to HIV-AIDS prevention strategies;
  5. REQUESTS members and supporters to campaign in their communities with the message that teenage pregnancies produce children who most often become vulnerable to abuse and neglect;
  6. BELIEVES school curricula should teach all aspects relating to teenage pregnancy including the emotional cost (usually because the pregnancy results in single-parent families with the mother being the primary care-giver) and the actual financial cost of feeding, clothing, educating and generally nurturing a child;
  7. REQUESTS members and supporters to actively support, in whatever way they can, all those affected and afflicted by HIV-AIDS and to fully comply with all Party resolutions in this regard including helping to establish HIV-AIDS “help desks” within all our branches.

RESOLUTION 11: IFP YOUTH PROTECTING OUR ENVIRONMENT

Conference:

  1. RECORDS WITH ALARM a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which claims that by 2020 between 75 and 250 million Africans will be exposed to increased water stress because of climate change;
  2. FURTHER RECORDS that agricultural production, including access to food, is projected to be severely compromised by global warming and that in some African countries yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by half;
  3. NOTES that an estimated 20 percent of species are threatened with extinction and that by 2100 global temperatures will have risen alarmingly along with sea levels;
  4. BELIEVES that all citizens must now mobilize to protect our environment from further degradation and promote conservation and that this must start in our own homes and neighbourhoods with IFP youth playing a leading role;
  5. CALLS for education about climate change to be seen as a national priority;
  6. URGES all members and supporters to begin discussing and debating climate change and ways and means that individuals, communities, farmers, commerce, industry and government can contribute towards reducing carbon emission reduction – so-called “greenhouse gas”;
  7. ENCOURAGES clean-up campaigns in our neighbourhoods and of, for instance, our rivers and streams as well as a mass tree-planting drive;
  8. EMPHASISES the need for us all to start thinking about how we can face the challenges of global warming by encouraging lifestyle changes right down to the light bulbs we use and recycling household water;
  9. PLEADS that all spheres of Government henceforth ensure that all future human settlement is planned according to environmental principles and objectives;
  10. CONDEMNS developers who spurn ecologically sustainable development and land use and plunder natural resources for the sake of profit;
  11. FURTHER CALLS for studies to ascertain whether current government policies designed to assist the changes required to lower carbon emissions are actually working and have any chance of success in bringing about the environmental management required and if not, what can be done to improve this situation.

RESOLUTION 12: IFP YOUTH SUPPORTING THE PARTY’S 2009 ELECTION CAMPAIGN

Conference:

  1. CALLS on all IFP youth to start electioneering NOW and to spread the crucial message that the next general election will be a critical milestone in the history of post-liberation South Africa;
  2. ACKNOWLEDGES that this election will in many ways determine the future of multi-party democracy in our land;
  3. WARNS of the danger to democracy of South Africa sliding in to a one-party State due to voter apathy and disenchantment with the governance of the ANC alliance;
  4. IS DETERMINED that IFP youth will play a leading role in the quest to ensure IFP victory at the polls and to return the governance of the province of KwaZulu Natal to the IFP;
  5. DEPLORES and REJECTS misguided race-based politics in our new democracy and any efforts to mobilize political support by using ethnicity as a strategy;
  6. FURTHER WARNS that emerging ethnic mobilization being witnessed is extremely dangerous and requests members to speak out on its dangers to multi-party and non-racial democracy;
  7. UNDERSTANDS that many of the country’s youth are despairing of their lives and the lives of their families vastly improving and that this may lead to them boycotting the elections;
  8. BELIEVES that youth must not fall prey to defeatist attitudes and must, instead, mobilize themselves NOW to ensure that their voices are heard on all socio-economic and political issues which affect them and their families;
  9. URGES that all eligible youth must be encouraged and assisted to register to vote NOW and to be actively engaged in all IFP election campaigns;
  10. ENCOURAGES IFP youth nationwide to begin – NOW – formulating IFP Youth Brigade election campaign programmes based on party policies.

RESOLUTION 13: IFP YOUTH CONDEMN THE SABC’S PARTY-POLITICAL BIAS AND POOR QUALITY YOUTH PROGRAMMING

Conference:

  1. DEPLORES the blatant abuse of political power and manipulation of the SABC by the ANC and its minions at the public broadcaster;
  2. NOTES the recent reported admission by the Secretary-General of the ANC that senior leaders of the party’s National Executive Committee “misled” him into authorizing a list of SABC board appointees which was then “imposed” on Parliament;
  3. BELIEVES that it is more than obvious that the ANC is turning the SABC back in to an apartheid-like State broadcaster as its leaders fail to distinguish between party and State;
  4. CONDEMNS the deliberate marginalization of the IFP and its leadership by both SABC TV and radio;
  5. URGES citizens to recognize the dangers to multi-party democracy of ANC leadership ruthlessly manipulating control over the ultimate selection of the SABC Board –- beyond Parliament — and thereafter the executive management of the broadcaster;
  6. EXPECTS IFP youth to again show leadership in monitoring news, information and comment on SABC TV and radio and to actively and publicly respond to all propaganda and bias;
  7. CALLS for the kind of consistent TV and radio programming which will uplift and educate the youth of South Africa and promote skills development, self-help and self-reliance;
  8. RECOGNISES that music is integral to youth entertainment but rejects the kind of rap music which extols violence and negative attitudes towards women;
  9. FURTHER BELIEVES that much more needs to be done to use broadcasting to promote gender equality, local culture, the values of ubuntu/botho and to show youth the importance of actively involving themselves in sport and all manner of cultural and community activities.

RESOLUTION 14: IFP YOUTH ASSISTING ELIGIBLE CITIZENS AND CHILD-HEADED HOUSEHOLDS TO ACCESS GOVERNMENT SOCIAL SUPPORT GRANTS

Conference:

  1. NOTES that a reported number of 8 million South African children are the recipients of Government grants;
  2. RECOGNISES that many of these children live in abject poverty and would undoubtedly go hungry and without adequate care were it not for these grants;
  3. FURTHER NOTES that many more so-called “vulnerable children” — including orphans and child-headed households – need to be enabled to access these grants but cannot do so due to access problems and so-called “red tape”;
  4. ACKNOWLEDGES the devastating impact that HIV-AIDS is wreaking on the youth of our nation;
  5. CALLS for IFP members and supporters to show leadership in assisting these vulnerable children and their parents/guardians/care-givers to access child support or foster care grants;
  6. URGES IFP youth leadership to do everything possible to help these persons obtain birth certificates for these children as well ID documents for parents and care-givers;
  7. INSTRUCTS IFP youth leadership to ascertain the names and locations of all social workers in the areas in which they live and the nearest offices where applications for social grants can be lodged;
  8. FURTHER CALLS for IFP leadership to visibly show “THE IFP WORKING FOR YOU IN YOUR COMMUNITY”.

RESOLUTION 15: IFP YOUTH THANK THEIR PRESIDENT

Conference:

  1. THANKS the President of our Party, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, for the inspiration and constant support he tirelessly provides to us all;
  2. BELIEVES the only way in which we can show our gratitude and respect is to do what these Resolutions ask us to do on behalf of the Party and the citizens of South Africa;
  3. RECOGNISES that all indications are that the political climate throughout the nation leading to our next general election is extremely perilous and understands that the country desperately needs the wisdom of seasoned leaders of integrity such as ours to steer the course required;
  4. PLEDGES our commitment to the causes our President has championed his entire political life including espousing the need for moral integrity; self-help and self-reliance and the quest for vibrant multi-party democracy.