PRINCE MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI MP
PRESIDENT OF THE INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY
I am so pleased to have the opportunity to visit Mthonjaneni again, so soon after our by-election victory in ward 7. Today we look forward to another by-election, this time in ward 3; here in your community. May it be another victory for the IFP.
I say this because you deserve a leadership you can trust. When you elected IFP councillors to serve your needs and represent your voice in the Municipal Council, we responded with a commitment to integrity, transparency and good governance. The IFP made a commitment to serve Mthonjaneni, and we deliver. Out of this, a strong partnership has grown between the IFP and you, the people we serve.
I appreciate this partnership, for it speaks of a community that is unified, politically mature and willing to build.
Since the 2016 Local Government Elections, this community has been building hand in hand with Councillor Mhloliseni Elias Zulu. He was a good leader and a respected part of this community. It was a thus a shock when he suddenly became ill in July and passed away. We were all deeply saddened by this loss, which was difficult to accept. I want to thank you for gathering in a show of support as we laid Councillor Zulu to rest.
His passing has left a vacancy on the Municipal Council which must now be filled, so that his work here can continue. I want you to know that the IFP is committed to giving you another good leader. We understand the importance of continuity and we want to ensure that service delivery remains a priority in this ward.
In the 2016 Local Government Elections, the people of Mthonjaneni spoke loudly through the ballot box. A clear message emerged that Mthonjaneni wants an IFP leadership. In a spectacular victory, votes for the IFP almost doubled, while votes for our opponents all decreased. Since then, the IFP has continued to see tremendous growth and our membership here has become even stronger.
Your votes secured an IFP Mayor and IFP Councillors in the Local Municipality. Thus the Municipal Council runs smoothly and well, for there is a shared vision and shared responsibility. We take pride in the fact that politicking doesn’t dominate the agenda. This is an IFP municipality, run on the IFP principles of integrity, unity and service.
We have therefore been very careful in choosing the right candidate to serve as your new councillor in ward 3. We carefully considered the character and leadership skills of potential candidates, and one candidate immediately stood out. I am pleased to support the candidacy of Mr Zipho Mthembeni Ndlovu, for I believe that he is able and ready to serve.
In the coming by-election, Mr Ndlovu will go up against our opponents’ candidates. But this is not a battle of personalities. It’s a battle of principles, because each candidate is fielded by a political party that has a particular track record, ideological viewpoint, and approach to service.
When you measure the IFP’s track record against that of our opponents, the IFP wins hands down. We have vast experience in governance, not only at a local level, but in district, provincial and even national government. The IFP has administered governance for 43 years. For as long as we have been in existence, we have led the delivery of services, the creation of policy and the good administration of resources.
Our experience in the former Government of KwaZulu taught us the principles of working clean and working smart. We kept even the whiff of corruption out of government, and found ways to extract every last ounce of benefit from a tight budget. We learned how to do a lot with a little, avoiding wasteful expenditure and prioritizing sound financial management.
When we finally won democracy, the IFP entered the Government of National Unity and we led KwaZulu Natal with a clear majority. Our experience enabled us to hit the ground running. Where the ANC was still learning the ropes, the IFP was rapidly building on a strong foundation. The thousands of classrooms we had already built before democracy, now became the seedbed of entrepreneurs, thought leaders and job creators. KwaZulu Natal under the IFP became a shining example of good governance, development and possibility.
Tragically, much of that is now in the past, for when the ANC took over in this province they shut down and reversed much of what the IFP had created. Not because it was bad, but because it made them look bad. They wanted to take the credit for all our hard work, and when the legacy of the IFP continued, every effort was made to shut it down.
But the IFP has survived and our legacy remains, because when you build with the people, for the people, nothing can stop you. Mr Zipho Ndlovu carries this legacy. He is our representative in this ward and we are counting on him to show you the difference between an IFP Councillor, and a councillor from another party.
We as the IFP’s leadership will support Mr Ndlovu as he works for you, and we will hold him accountable. He is not only building on our track record, but representing our ideological viewpoint and our approach to service. In these things, the IFP far exceeds our opponents. We believe in principled leadership, honesty, accountability, and good character. We insist that all our councillors are accessible, and that they listen. We hold them accountable for reporting back to you.
These are simple duties of any public representative, but not every party expects it of their councillors. There are far too many public representatives who are in it for the money and the status. That’s where the IFP is different. We’re in it to serve. We want to make a difference, because we are part of this community. We have lived and worked in Mthonjaneni for generations. We know the needs here, and we are determined to see them met.
I want to speak to you very frankly. Your vote is important in the coming by-election. Don’t be fooled into thinking that a by-election can’t make a difference, because it’s not a national or a provincial election. A by-election has a very real and immediate impact, because it affects the kind of leadership you get right here, in your own community.
So when the voting stations open on Wednesday, I urge you to go and cast your vote. If you stay away, you run the risk of someone else deciding who should represent you. Without your vote, your opponents are strengthened by default.
Tell this to your family and your neighbours and your friends. Every vote makes a difference. This is an exercise of your democratic right to choose your own leader and your own political party. You can keep this ward strong. You can keep it in the IFP. And indeed that is what we must do.
On Wednesday morning at 7 o’clock, voting stations will open at the following places: Ubuqhawebethu Primary School, Ntuthuko Primary School, Emkhindini Primary School, Sinqobile Secondary School, Emayeni Creche, and Fontein Store. These voting stations will be open until 9 o’clock at night, but I urge you to get there early and cast your vote, so that nothing gets in the way of this important task.
I want to speak for a moment to the children of Ubuqhawebethu Primary School, Ntuthuko Primary School and Emkhindini Primary School. Get your parents to go to school on Wednesday. Tell them, and tell your grandparents, that this is about your future. They need to make good decisions, so that you can have leaders who care about you.
The same goes for the learners of Sinqobile Secondary School. In just a few short years, you will be the ones casting your votes and deciding our country’s future. A few of you may already be 18 years old. I hope you have your ID books and have registered to vote. If you’ve missed this chance, don’t miss out next year. The 2019 elections are coming. This is your time. Make your voice heard.
The IFP will keep working for Mthonjaneni. We care about families and we care about you. While we continue to work to get electricity, access to running water and sanitation to all households, we are also invested in projects to support emerging farmers, to equip youth with skills, to increase the number of learners who complete school, to provide care and support for those living with HIV/Aids, and to develop community initiatives towards food security and job creation.
Much good can be achieved when we build together. I invite you to keep building with the IFP. Help us to help you. Vote IFP.
I thank you.