Address by The Hon. Mr MB Gwala MPL National Chairperson of the Inkatha Freedom Party
Limpopo, Thohoyandou: 9 October 2021Members and supporters of the IFP; Amakhosi, patriots and friends; our leadership in Limpopo and our Councillor Candidates – I greet you all.
Today we are gathered here with one purpose of taking the IFP Local Government Manifesto to the length and breadth of Limpopo Province. We are here to present our candidates to serve you as municipal councillors, knowing that they are the right people for the job who will serve you with integrity.
The IFP’s Local Government Election Manifesto speaks volumes about a party that you can trust; not based on promises, but on our track record of service delivery and good governance. We believe in telling you what we have done and what we are doing in IFP-led municipalities, so that you will know what the IFP is capable of. We improve service delivery wherever we govern. A strong IFP voice in the municipal council means that your needs are prioritized.
The IFP knows that we are the servants, not the masters, of the people. We recognise Ubuntu/Botho as the foundation of all human interaction. Because we are who we are only through our interaction with others, we respect everyone and treat everyone with compassion and empathy, and in a manner that recognises their intrinsic human dignity.
We learned this from our Founder, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. After 44 years at the helm of the IFP, Prince Buthelezi handed the baton to the next generation of leaders in 2019. He tasked us with continuing the legacy of the IFP, which is a legacy of honest leadership and absolute integrity. He himself has set the standard, for he has always stood against corruption. Under his leadership, not a single allegation of corruption was ever levelled against his ministers or MECs, and today the IFP continues to serve without a whiff of corruption.
That says a great deal about our Party, because the IFP has governed at national, provincial and local level. In KwaZulu-Natal, we serve as the Official Opposition to the ruling party, and we govern both District and Local Municipalities. We do all this with integrity, because you deserve a leadership you can trust.
All the major political parties have launched their Local Government Election Manifestos. Now it is time for you to judge who is speaking the truth and who is deceiving you. When the IFP prepares its election manifestos, we always listen first. Not to focus groups or vested interests, but to you. Through our structures, we go out into every community and we listen to the people.
Again and again we have heard your frustration, and your disillusionment with politicians who break their promises. Through 27 years of broken promises and betrayals, the ruling party has lost your trust. Tragically, under the ruling party, many municipalities are dysfunctional and service delivery has come to a grinding halt due to incompetence and corruption.
Lack of basic services is a cause for serious concern. Why should you have to go without dignified housing, electricity, sanitation, roads and clean water, just because government is incompetent?
This is not an overstatement. Let me be specific. Through irregular investment of taxpayers money in the defunct VBS Mutual Bank, Vhembe District Municipality lost more than R300m of public funds. Collins Chabane Local Municipality irregularly invested R120m. The Hawks raided the Collins Chabane Municipal offices amid allegations of fraud and corruption in the construction of municipal offices in Malamulele worth over R170 million.
Greater Giyani Local Municipality irregularly invested over R153 million, all of which was lost. Thulamela Local Municipality also invested in VBS, resulting in the collapse of service delivery. This was done to benefit individuals at the expense of the poor. All those who are implicated in the VBS scandal must be held accountable.
We cannot have municipalities that are riddled with corruption while ordinary citizens bear the brunt of poor service delivery. Incompetence cannot the tolerated. Corrupt officials must be investigated and immediately dismissed if found guilty of committing a criminal offence. There is no other way to ensure the integrity of a municipality. The community needs to know that corrupt officials will always be dealt with and corruption will not be tolerated.
Corruption and poor governance undermine the delivery of quality essential services. No wonder communities across South Africa are expressing their unhappiness and frustration with poor service delivery, lack of access to water, maladministration, and corruption, through protests. And many of these protests become violent, because Government does not seem to listen unless someone gets hurt.
For far too long, officials and politicians have been enriching themselves to the detriment of the residents in Limpopo. It is time for the IFP to bring change in these dysfunctional municipalities. And we can do it – through your vote for the IFP. We are not here to make empty promises but to offer tangible solutions.
Let me tell you what the IFP does differently and what we are offering to communities throughout South Africa. We have identified 10 key areas that need a leadership of integrity to intervene. Our Councillor Candidates have all taken a Pledge of Good Governance committing to uphold the 10 point plan of the IFP.
POINT 1 - THE IFP LEADS WITH INTEGRITY
We hold our Councillors accountable for providing good governance and honest leadership. Councillors and Mayors are elected to serve, not to be glorified. Their duty is to ensure that people get service delivery. The IFP ensures that our Councillors are always available to you and prioritise your needs above all else. IFP Councillors don’t disappear after you’ve elected them. They work hard, provide feedback and find solutions. Because we have a zero tolerance policy towards corruption, our Councillors are held to a high standard of moral integrity.
POINT 2 - WE EMPOWER PEOPLE
The IFP believes in empowering people through a wider number of public services in different fields of “social policies”. When people are equipped with skills and knowledge, they become empowered to earn a living. Whether through formal employment, starting a business, trading or providing a service, everyone should be able to earn an income. This is the first step towards eradicating poverty and hunger.
POINT 3 - WE CREATE FOOD SECURITY
We know that every night millions of South Africans go to bed hungry. The governing party has failed to prioritise food security, instead making our people dependent on social grants that are far from sufficient to provide proper nutrition. The IFP supports subsistence farmers by providing materials and equipment to promote local economic development. We develop cooperatives and assist emerging farmers, in particular projects led by women and youth. Farm workers are a key component of food security, and the IFP prioritises their rights and needs. We support and promote the sustainable use of land.
POINT 4 - WE PARTNER WITH TRADITIONAL LEADERSHIP
Amakhosi play an important role in service delivery as they know how to identify community development issues in their areas and find practical solutions to challenges that hinder rural development. The IFP respects Amakhosi. We forge strong partnerships to ensure that service delivery goals are reached through collaborative efforts between the municipality, traditional authorities, councillors, ward committees and the community itself.
POINT 5 - WE MAKE COMMUNITIES SAFER
Everyone deserves to live in safety, yet South Africa has extremely high levels of violent crime. To the IFP, our people’s safety is non-negotiable. Those who abuse women and children must be dealt with harshly. Courts must show no mercy to the perpetrators of crime and abuse. Illegal guns must be eradicated from our society. The fight against gender-based violence must be prioritized 365 days a year.
The IFP believes in well-resourced community policing forums, and we are working to see the roll out of additional specialised law enforcement units to boost capacity. The IFP Women’s Brigade raises its voice in defence and support of the voiceless. We fight to strengthen law enforcement and to protect the survivors of GBV. We believe all should benefit from the support of social workers, and every community must have places of safety, as well as access to treatment centres and drug rehabilitation programmes.
POINT 6 - WE BUILD HOMES
It is shocking that after 27 years of democracy, millions of people are still homeless or living in shacks. Many have been on a housing waiting list for years. Some are being sidelined in the allocation of houses due to their political affiliation. Where the IFP governs, we fast-track the provision of quality, dignified housing on the basis of need, through a fair and transparent process. We appointment competent contractors so that projects are finished on time and without needless expenditure. This enables the IFP to invest more in infrastructure.
POINT 7 - WE LOOK AFTER YOUR HEALTH
Access to comprehensive, quality health care services is important for promoting and maintaining health, preventing and managing disease, and avoiding unnecessary deaths. No one should have to travel long distances to access health services at clinics that are understaffed and under-equipped. This must change. The IFP builds clinics where people live. We understand that there must always be an ambulance and medical care available when you need it.
POINT 8 - WE PROVIDE CLEAN WATER
In the words of the Constitutional Court: “Water is life. Without it, nothing organic grows. Human beings need water to drink, to cook, to wash, and to grow their food. Without it, we will die”.
Despite this fact, after 27 years sustainable access to clean water is still a major concern in South Africa. Everyone has a right to access to clean water. Yet some are still forced to approach the courts for assistance in accessing this right. Moreover, it is degrading and dangerous for anyone to have to use a pit latrine, or to live near a flow of raw sewerage. This is why the IFP prioritises sanitation and improved water infrastructure. Not only do we build infrastructure, we maintain and replace what is already there.
POINT 9 - WE LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE
Electricity is a basic need. No one should have to prove their political affiliation before being connected to electricity. The IFP provides electrification wherever we govern so that streets can be safe, families can be warm and prepare food, businesses can operate and industries can run. We understand that equal access to electricity is essential to developing the economy.
POINT 10 - WE BUILD THE NEXT GENERATION
It is often said that the youth are the leaders of tomorrow. But without investment in their education, their health and their dreams, our youth will never achieve their full potential. This is why the IFP builds state-of-the-art sports infrastructure, Early Childhood Development Centres and community halls. We are preparing the next generation to create their better future.
November 1st is your time to take your frustrations to the ballot box and punish the ruling party. The time for change is now. If you want better service delivery, the only way you will get it is by voting IFP.
It is time for a crusade. A crusade for new leadership in Limpopo’s municipalities. A crusade for a new chapter in service delivery. A crusade for new opportunities to eradicate hunger and poverty.
The IFP is ready and able to provide you with honest leadership. We ask you to partner with us on November the 1st through your vote for the IFP. There is only one way to make your vote count. And that is to vote for what you want. To vote for what you believe. It is time to go for victory. Join us, and together we can make the difference.