30th ANNUAL CONFERENCE IFP YOUTH BRIGADE ON THE THEME
“The IFP’s Youth: Custodians of the Values for Our Future”
EMANDLENI/MATLENG, ULUNDI: 19-21 DECEMBER 2008
RESOLUTION 1: IFP YOUTH MOBILISING FOR IFP VICTORY IN THE 2009 GENERAL ELECTIONS: WHAT WE NEED TO DO TO ENSURE THE PARTY ONCE AGAIN GOVERNS THE PROVINCE OF KWAZULU NATAL AND SUBSTANTIALLY INCREASES ITS SUPPORT THROUGHOUT SOUTH AFRICA
Noting that the current political landscape of the country is dynamic and ever-changing offering both challenges and opportunities. The 2009 general elections will provide the party with a never-to-be-repeated chance to regain the political leadership and governance of the Province of KwaZulu Natal and to increase its support throughout the rest of South Africa.
- To substantially improve our efforts in all of our constituencies to ensure the maximum possible number of voters are registered, especially young and first-time voters;
- To ensure that identified party agents are properly trained and ready to diligently serve the party on polling day;
- To mobilize further support for the party by visibly and consistently campaigning and promoting the leadership and policies of the party and by fund-raising;
- To rapidly identify and attempt to put a stop (by appealing to the appropriate authorities) to the political intolerance and intimidation of voters by ANC-Alliance members and supporters which we have already experienced in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng;
- To widely expose such incidents: for example – ANC supporters recently destroyed an IFP billboard in Umzinto, KwaZulu Natal and assaulted and intimidated IFP members gathering for a meeting in Tshwane (Soutpan Sports Ground);
- To insist that the IEC and our safety and security services act efficiently and effectively to ensure that the electoral process is free and fair and that all parties adhere to the prescribed IEC Code of Conduct;
- To ask members and supporters to, if possible, use their cell phones to provide video and picture proof of any acts of electoral violence and intimidation which they may witness and for such evidence to be immediately forwarded to the party leadership in charge of elections for appropriate action thereafter.
RESOLUTION 2: THE CRISIS FACING SOUTH AFRICA’S YOUTH AS A CONSEQUENCE OF THE ANC-LED GOVERNMENT CONTINUOUSLY PURSUING FAILING NATIONAL EDUCATION POLICIES: WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE AND LESSONS LEARNED
Noting that even the Minister of Education, The Hon. Naledi Pandor MP, has publicly stated that “apartheid can no longer be used as an excuse for SA’s education problems…” and, furthermore “that levels of mediocrity in the education system have reached unacceptably high levels….”
- To continue to condemn the bungling of our education system by the ANC Alliance-led government where low morale and so-called political “policy overload” affects and afflicts both educators and learners;
- To applaud hard working results-orientated educators who should be publicly acclaimed and richly rewarded;
- To support the call by the South African Council of Educators that school principals must disclose the details of teachers found guilty of professional misconduct to be included on a data base of “rotten apples” (an initiative aimed at ridding the education system of teachers found guilty of sexual and physical abuse of pupils);
- To deplore the closing of teacher training colleges by the ANC Alliance as a catastrophe and to plead that teacher training be prioritized in tandem with vastly increased remuneration for educators based on skills and performance;
- To remind all South Africans of the outstanding record of the erstwhile KwaZulu Government (under the leadership of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi) of building huge numbers of academically successful and well managed schools in close cooperation with communities (to which thousands of scholars in the then Transvaal fled – and were welcomed — following the 1976 uprising);
- To further emphasise that while actively opposing apartheid and constrained by few resources, the KwaZulu Government still managed to build vibrant multi-faceted educational facilities (in cooperation with community leadership, parents, educators and learners) which spirit the ANC to this day has never been able to emulate and has, in fact, obliterated this community-inspired quest for joint responsibility for the education of our children through their communist/socialist-inspired policy of centralization;
- To congratulate academic Dr Mamphela Ramphele for proposing what the IFP has long advocated: that a third tier of education should be introduced (managed by the state but funded in part by the corporate world) which would allow for the autonomy of school principals and teachers;
- To state that by pursuing OBE (Outcomes Based Education) the ANC Alliance has managed (for many well-documented reasons) to further widen the gap between the children of the rich and the poor and that this experiment has been a disaster: skills and expertise among teachers radically differ as do their access to the resources required;
- To plead for recognition that one of the major problems facing teachers is resources, especially in rural communities;
- To call for a thorough and independent audit of all SETAs and request that curricula (for the foreseeable future in these times of a global economic crisis) must be more focused on enhancing our labour market and ensuring that skills development compliments employment creation;
- To request IFP leadership to consistently agitate for the reintroduction of school inspectors as a matter of urgency.
RESOLUTION 3: IFP YOUTH APPLAUD EDUCATIONIST PROF JONATHAN JANSEN FOR EXPOSING OUR “MATRIC CIRCUS” AS A “CRUEL FARCE”
Noting the recent newspaper article by esteemed academic, Prof. Jonathan Jansen, stating unequivocally that the current manner in which national matriculation results are calculated and assessed is a “cruel farce”.
- To support his view that it is not fair to subject more than half a million youths annually to the same terminal examination when they have had vastly different school experiences;
- To further agree that it is indeed “outrageous” that young people in our country have such completely divergent education experiences in spite of policies which claim that discrimination is a thing of the past;
- To urge all academics like Prof. Jansen to further expose the reality and social dangers inherent in that some learners enjoy well-qualified teachers, excellent science laboratories, internet connectivity and so on, while the majority of learners suffer derelict township schools, have mainly unqualified teachers and have never seen a science laboratory;
- To call on all youth to speak out with regard to ANC-Alliance education policies which are now recognized by academics such as Prof. Jansen to have reproduced social inequality “according to race and class in one of the most unequal nations in the world”;
- To nevertheless offer our best wishes to all matriculants who have worked so hard this year to succeed in their examinations in spite of their obvious hardships.
RESOLUTION 4: IFP YOUTH CALLING FOR EMERGENCY MEASURES TO ENABLE SOUTH AFRICA’S YOUTH TO BECOME EMPLOYABLE AND THEREAFTER EMPLOYED: WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE
Noting that there is structural unemployment in South Africa in that there is a mismatch of labour demand to labour supply. Many South Africans do not have the skills required for the employment available. Government tenders and attempts at job creation do not address the realities of our skills shortage and ongoing employment crisis.
- To call for emergency measures to be enacted to enable South Africa’s youth to be given the appropriate skills to enable them to be effectively employed and thereafter self-employed and that these measures must employ on-the-job training;
- To urge that technical training at high school level be immediately prioritized and resourced and that retired tradespersons be encouraged and given incentives to teach and assist with skills transfer in this regard;
- To state that many Government attempts to date of large scale job creation have not enabled effective skills transfer and merely offer paltry handouts for limited periods of time with no real long-term benefits for those involved;
- To support the suggestion of the National Business Initiative (NBI) for the need for “strategic engagement” between business and government to “deepen the understanding of the real challenges facing the education sector” and for business and government to strengthen relations and explore solutions.
RESOLUTION 5: IFP YOUTH FIGHTING VIOLENCE IN SCHOOLS, CRIME AND CORRUPTION: WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE
Noting: That violence in our schools and violence among youths is said to be increasing at alarming rates;
Noting: That much has been said and written about the staggering levels of crime and corruption in South Africa but that little has been accomplished in spite of the best efforts of many over-worked and under-paid police officers who regrettably also have to deal with political manipulation, nepotism, incompetence, indolence and corruption within their own ranks;
Noting: That the ANC Alliance Government — to shield its own corrupt cadres — is now determined to dismantle one of our more effective crime-fighting units, the so-called “Scorpions”;
Noting: That the President of the Republic, in spite of high-level pleas to do so, has refused to allow a commission to investigate the so-called “arms deal”.
- To lay the blame for escalating youth violence and violence in schools on the growing apathy of many parents and society and communities in general;
- To call for the “family” to be the focus of South Africa’s social policy as this is the key to so-called “moral regeneration”;
- To call for youth development and violence prevention organizations to actively intervene within schools with programmes aimed at perpetrators and youth at risk;
- To ask youth to start to critically examine the messages in the music we listen to and the video’s and films we watch: do they reflect the kind of people we want to be and do they reflect the kind of society we want to live in?
- To vigorously support the contention of party leadership that the refusal by President Kgalema Motlanthe to establish a commission of inquiry into the so-called “arms deal” has rendered the ANC Government “morally corrupt”;
- To call on all youth to mobilize against crime in their own communities and to expose criminal behaviour wherever and whenever they can;
- To ask youth to interact with the party’s elected officials with the information they have if they fear retribution or inaction from corrupt and/or inept police officials.
RESOLUTION 6: IFP YOUTH DEMAND ACCESSIBLE AND AFFORDABLE INTERNET ACCESS FOR ALL LEARNERS: WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE
The so-called “digital divide” in South Africa is a disgrace. The rich are connected, the poor are not. Urban areas are connected and rural areas are not.
Rich schools are connected and the majority of poor schools are not. Access to high-speed broadband internet is neither affordable nor accessible for the majority of South Africans. While ANC Alliance cadres have become BEE billionaires by being enabled to buy bargain-basement shareholdings in Telkom, consumers continue to suffer with having to pay outrageous prices for pathetic internet service from our primary national service provider. Much-promised competition in the form of Telkom competitors Neotel and iBurst has yet to show any hope to ordinary students and average citizens who need to be “connected” and have a right to be “connected”.
- That access to the internet should be accepted and understood by Government as an essential learning and social tool in the 21st century;
- That the internet is now also seen as an important element to enhancing democracy and good governance all around the world and the ANC Alliance government’s abject failure to enable the rapid deployment of access to the internet — and to learners in particular — should be seen as anti-democratic;
- That in today’s world it is now recognized that the free flow of information and the exchange of ideas and knowledge via the world wide web is having a profound impact on billions of lives: the internet is therefore a global resource actively being denied to the majority of South Africans;
- That the marginalization of the majority of South Africans from access to the internet can be broadly interpreted as a restriction on the rights of citizens to freedom of speech, association and learning as well as inhibiting citizens access to transparent governance, legislative scrutiny and access to all relevant documentation in all languages;
- That many persons with disabilities can be enormously assisted by ICT and it should be a government priority that all persons with special needs are “connected” as a matter of policy.
RESOLUTION 7: IFP YOUTH ENCOURAGING VOLUNTEERISM AND A VOLUNTEER POLICY IN SOUTH AFRICA WHICH WILL BE AN IMPORTANT NATIONAL SOCIAL AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY: WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE
Noting the need for our nation’s youth to be properly organized to promote positive citizenship and to assist in community development.
- That encouraging “volunteerism” will assist youth to learn self-respect and respect for others while developing community leadership, learning and social skills;
- That there is an urgent need for support for a “volunteer policy” in South Africa to develop schemes and allocate resources which will compliment national development objectives;
- That youth should be encouraged to study countries in which youth volunteers play a significant role and active youth participation in society is organised and valued;
- That a “volunteer policy” will only succeed if it is seen as all-inclusive, if it involves all social and cultural partners and if it is not politically hi-jacked.
RESOLUTION 8: IFP YOUTH CALL FOR THE NEW NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (NYDA) TO PRODUCE RESULTS AND NOT BECOME YET ANOTHER EMPLOYMENT FRONT FOR ANC ALLIANCE YOUTH SEEKING PERSONAL ENRICHMENT: WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE
Noting Parliament’s recent decision to pass the National Youth Development Agency Bill and further noting that claims that this new agency is not a merger of the National Youth Commission and the Umsobomvu Youth Fund have yet to be tested.
- To support the need for a well formulated implementing institution rather than a mere coordinating agency;
- To regret that the Bill does not detail how the Agency will operate at provincial and local levels and to question this omission which clearly caters yet again to the obsession of the ANC-Alliance to centralise all power and decision-making;
- To express our abject disappointment at the failure of the National Youth Commission and the Umsobomvu Youth Fund;
- To state that the new Agency has no chance of success if it is packed like its predecessors with deployed ANC-Alliance cadres;
- To call once again for a fully-fledged and well-resourced Youth Ministry enabled to rapidly implement positive youth development and take responsibility for all youth affairs.
RESOLUTION 9: IFP YOUTH CONGRATULATE SADESMO
Noting that SADESMO has won all 12 seats on the SRC at Durban’s Mangosuthu University of Technology and all 7 seats on the SRC at the University of Zululand.
- To congratulate all concerned for their performance in the face of high levels of intimidation and wish all those elected well in their quest to be all-inclusive and to set an example of excellence in service.
RESOLUTION 10: IFP YOUTH CONDEMN SADTU’S BIASED ACTIONS: WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO ENSURE THAT SADTU TEACHERS WHO SUPPORT THE ANC’S ELECTION CAMPAIGN ARE NOT PERMITTED TO SERVE AS PRESIDING OFFICERS
Noting that the SA Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) in KwaZulu Natal has announced that they will join the ANC’s election campaign in the province ahead of the 2009 elections.
- To ask how a union such as SADTU can be trusted in a society committed to multi-party democracy when it is clearly aligned to one political party?
- To insist that the IEC does not allow political office bearers and trade unionists to act as presiding officers or be employed as electoral staff in the forthcoming election.
RESOLUTION 11: IFP YOUTH SUPPORT THE EXTENSION OF THE CHILD SUPPORT GRANT TO 18 YEARS. WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO ENSURE THAT ALL CHILDREN WHO QUALIFY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY CAN ACCESS THE GRANTS AND BENEFITS TO WHICH THEY ARE ENTITLED
Noting that it is now a fact that social grants are recognized as the most effective government response to poverty since 1994 and academics have now produced research to show that “they have done far more to change the lives of the poor than any other government programme…” Further noting: nearly 3 million youth in our country between the ages of 15 and 18 receive no direct financial support at all.
- To call for the extension of the Child Support Grant to the age of 18 years;
- To state that grants are the only anti-poverty measure which allow poor people to determine their own needs in the circumstances in which they find themselves;
- To request leadership to fully support the work of the Alliance for Children’s Entitlement to Society Security which has activated more than 1 200 children’s sector organizations to motivate for a comprehensive social security system which will ensure the survival of children and a standard of living adequate for their development;
- To ask all members and branch leaderships to assist children and their families in obtaining enabling documentation required to access grants;
- To reject any notion that the State cannot afford extending the child support grant when billions are spent on armaments we do not need (submarines being a classic example) and that research costing the extension of the child support grant to the age of 18 years is calculated as being only R5.4 billion which is clearly affordable.
RESOLUTION 12: IFP YOUTH CONDEMN THE LACK OF ADEQUATE FUNDING FOR CHILDREN’S HOMES: WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE
Noting the huge numbers of children in our country who need to be given refuge and care in children’s homes for various reasons and yet these homes are critically under-funded.
- That places of safety for children (many of which have been privately established) play a vital role in our society – most often for abused children who are wards of the court;
- To applaud these homes and their benefactors who need to be recognized for the wonderful service they provide;
- To call for the adequate funding of these homes as some are facing enormous financial pressure and may have to close their doors;
- To condemn the fact that reports in the Western Cape are now revealing that since the year 2 000 only two increases in the per capita grant have been given to private children’s homes and that next year this amount will not be increased at all;
- To state that it is patently ridiculous that state homes receive a per capita grant of R5 699 and yet private homes only receive R1 521 per month;
- To request leadership to raise this matter at the highest levels of government and to ask the question these private homes are asking: does the government want the private children’s homes to continue and what will it do with the children if the private homes close due to lack of funds?
RESOLUTION 13: IFP YOUTH CALL FOR PEOPLE-CENTRED DEVELOPMENT AND AN END TO THE DESTRUCTION OF RURAL ENVIRONMENTS FOR THE SAKE OF SO-CALLED “DEVELOPMENT”: WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE
Noting the alarming frequency in which the rights of rural citizens living in environmentally pristine areas of the country are being trampled upon in the name of so-called profit-driven “development” invariably driven by the ANC Alliance and their BEE cohorts (often in collaboration with foreign partnerships including mining consortia).
- To fully support Inkosi Khayelilhle Mathaba and the eMacambini clan in their determination to resist forced removal to make way for the ANC-led Amazulu World Theme Park project;
- To question what type of “development” forces people off their land which is not owned by big business and neither is it owned by government;
- To call for a commission of enquiry as to how Dubai-based Ruwaad Holdings have been given a “memorandum of understanding” between the KwaZulu Natal provincial government and themselves to plan a 16 500 ha theme park which will include a shopping centre, a game reserve, six golf courses, residential facilities, sports fields and a statue of King Shaka at the Thukela river mouth;
- To further insist that this enquiry reveals all contract details and the identities of all local shareholders – not just the company names but the names of the actual individuals involved;
- To urge the current Premier of the Province of KwaZulu Natal to exercise extreme caution in his dealings with regard to this matter and to desist from using the name of His Majesty the King of the Zulu Nation with regard to this ANC land-grab initiative;
- To furthermore support the quest of the communities on the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape to also be left alone and to further support their resistance of a Ministerial decision to throw them off their ancestral land for the benefit of Australian mining interests (together with local cohorts who will also be cashing in);
- To call for active resistance when decisions are made to destroy South African land of great beauty and to call for people-centred development that places the needs of people above the needs of politicians and business deals that do more harm than good.
RESOLUTION 14: IFP YOUTH COUNT THE COST OF THE HIV-AIDS PANDEMIC: WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO BRING AN END TO THE SUFFERING
Noting that much has been said over many years about the tragic consequences of the HIV-AIDS pandemic and that there is little more that can be added that is new.
- To continue to plead for South Africa’s youth to save their own lives and those of their loved ones by practicing the ABC mantra: Abstain, Be Faithful and Condomise;
- To continue to call for responsible behaviour and an acute awareness that the HIV-AIDS virus does not discriminate between black and white or rich and poor – it strikes when it is given the opportunity;
- To continue to plead for love and care for all who are afflicted and affected by the virus and an understanding that any of us, if we are not careful, could fall prey to this terrible disease at any time;
- To continue to advise that all persons who are sexually active be regularly tested so as to ensure they can receive ARV’s and that their partners can also be protected and assisted if necessary.
RESOLUTION 15: IFP YOUTH CONDEMN XENOPHOBIA AND THE DISINTEGRATION OF ZIMBABWE: WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE
Noting that it is a little known fact that research has now shown — and is being reported by academics — that the appalling xenophobic attacks in Gauteng are believed to have started in schools where two weeks before the attacks flared up in Alexandra, the Gauteng education department experienced problems in Pretoria where schoolchildren were reported to be beating up and throwing classmates out of school for being immigrants. Further noting that unless the dreadful political and humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe dramatically improves, South Africans must accept that increasing numbers of Zimbabwe citizens will be forced to seek shelter and medical and other assistance here in our own country and that they should therefore whole-heartedly receive assistance and comfort.
- To applaud the outstanding example set by the President of the IFP in immediately visiting areas where attacks on immigrants had taken place and his efforts to comfort victims and to continually thereafter call for tolerance and behaviour consistent with the African culture of Ubuthu-Botho;
- To formally request all education departments to teach learners the reasons why persons all over the world are often forced to leave their countries to seek refuge elsewhere and why these persons have rights which must be respected by us all;
- To condemn the disintegration of our once great neighbour, Zimbabwe, which is now clearly a “failed state”, and to finally admit that our combined cry for “African solutions to African problems” has not produced any desired results and that Africans, in the words of the President of the IFP, “should be expected to adhere to the same standards as everyone else all over the world…”;
- To now call for SADC, the African Union and the United Nations to immediately ensure that the starving and cholera-stricken people of Zimbabwe receive emergency food and medical assistance.
RESOLUTION 16: IFP YOUTH SEEK WAYS TO DISCOURAGE TEENAGE PREGNANCIES: WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE
Noting reports of huge numbers of teenage pregnancies and statistics revealing that more than 20 000 learners throughout South Africa fell pregnant last year with figures expected to have risen this year. Further noting that this often curtails or ends the educational careers of the young women and places huge financial burdens on already poverty-stricken families.
- To call for schools and community outreach programmes to teach learners the “real cost” of single parenthood and of raising a child and to use the Child Support Grant as a basis for showing that properly caring for a child does, in fact, cost far more than the minimal monthly grant payment;
- To express despair that a recent World Bank report paints a picture of a “typical” African being an 18-year-old woman living in poverty – who dropped out of school “and will probably have six or seven children of her own”;
- To disseminate the reality of the report which further states that “in sub-Saharan Africa, three in five of the total unemployed are youth and, on average, 72 percent of the youth population live on less than $2 a day…”;
- To therefore encourage IFP members and supporters to actively plan and promote appropriate programmes within our communities to attempt to get young women (and their partners if possible) to tell their stories and to give their first-hand experiences of early parenthood so as to enable young people to hear the truth and realities from persons their own age;
- To acknowledge that teenage pregnancies and a lack of parenting skills most often has dire family and wider social consequences which issues should also be exposed to learners;
- To express concern with regard to claims that some teenagers are encouraged to have babies so they can qualify for the Child Support Grant while research has shown that this is not, in fact, the norm;
- To continue to spread the message of the IFP that expanding work and educational opportunities in rural areas is absolutely critical in the quest to give teenagers hope and a better chance in life than they have now.
RESOLUTION 17: IFP YOUTH THANK THEIR PRESIDENT, PRINCE MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI MP, FOR HIS LIFETIME OF COMMITMENT TO THE PEOPLE OF SOUTH AFRICA AND FOR STEADFASTLY PROMOTING THE PRINCIPLES OF OUR PARTY WHICH ARE AS RELEVANT NOW AS THEY WERE AT OUR INCEPTION IN 1975
The IFP Youth Brigade membership here today at our 30th Annual General Conference, and all the former youth who have been in the Brigade before us, have much to thank our President for.
- EXPRESSES its profound gratitude to our President for his patience which we have no doubt sorely tested time and again and for his forbearance in promoting our best interests while also attempting to protect us from our mistakes;
- OFFERS him, as always, our respect and admiration for his tireless dedication to promoting the rights of all South Africans and, in particular, highlighting the centrality of our families and our communities in building a South Africa in which there is decency, democracy and prosperity for all;
- FURTHER ACKNOWLEDGES that while our sincere expressions of support for our President are well meant they are, nevertheless, just words and the best way in which we can truly thank our leader is by hard work on the ground — day after day and night after night — and by doing our utmost to ensure that the party is victorious in next year’s general election.
Contact: Liezl van der Merwe, 083 611 7470.