Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
President Of The Inkatha Freedom Party
Yamela High School, uMlalazi: 19 September 2015
Coming to uMlalazi is like coming home. I know that I am amongst friends in this place. We have known each other for many years and have shared a journey of development and governance. Together we have worked to create opportunities in uMlalazi. We have worked to see our families safe, healthy and well nourished, to see our children well educated, and our youth living in hope. Over the course of many years, the partnership between uMlalazi and the IFP has been strong.
It was thus painful to lose our Councillor, Mr ZA Mhlongo, on the 12th of July this year. His passing was unexpected and it left this community grieving the loss of a true servant leader. I want to thank the many who attended Councillor Mhlongo’s funeral, for your presence expressed the great respect you had for him.
Under Councillor Mhlongo’s leadership, development projects were begun and completed in uMlalazi for the benefit of the community. Through his efforts, water stand pipes were installed, toilets were erected, roads were constructed, houses were built and community gardens were planted. Almost 1000 households received an electricity connection, and many destitute families were assisted with food hampers and funding for funerals. We saw sports equipment being donated, and people coming together to work on shared upliftment projects.
Councillor ZA Mhlongo left a good legacy, for he was a good ambassador of the IFP’s values. He served our Party well, and he fulfilled the mandate we gave him to serve this community. Now his work must be taken up by a new leader, someone who can move forward with serving uMlalazi in a strong partnership, based on the IFP’s values.
We therefore engaged the IFP’s structures in uMlalazi and asked who you felt would be the right representative. Overwhelmingly, you chose Mr Zakheleni Mhlongo. Mr Mhlongo is well known and well respected in uMlalazi. He grew up here and he knows this community. He shares the values of the IFP and is committed to serving the needs of uMlalazi by connecting people of goodwill with a party of integrity. I have confidence in Mr Mhlongo as the IFP’s candidate to serve this ward. But, more importantly, you have expressed confidence in him.
That is good, for it tells me that service delivery and development will continue in this ward uninterrupted. I am proud of the way the IFP has served uMlalazi. We managed this municipality with excellence for years. Under the stewardship of the IFP, the municipality received unqualified audit reports year after year and delivered meaningfully to both urban and rural communities within uMlalazi.
I want to see that good partnership continue, and I believe Mr Mhlongo can take it forward, with the support of our constituency leaders, councilors and members. I think it is obvious that we have a strong team in uMlalazi. Even after the passing of our Councillor in ward 8, service delivery continued and the IFP kept growing. Indeed, three new branches have been inaugurated within this ward and many have taken up IFP membership.
These are all good signs, for they point to a party you can depend on come rain or shine. Our councilors are not just individuals trying to serve you. They are servant leaders backed by a party that puts people first. When you partner with Mr Zakheleni Mhlongo, you are partnering with a party that has served with excellence for forty years.
The IFP has a long history in South Africa. We have been working to create social cohesion, shared development and common good since 1975. For the IFP, it has never been about power. It has been about serving our country and delivering the best possible governance. We have looked to the long-term needs of South Africa and tailored our leadership accordingly. We therefore champion values like discipline, integrity and honest leadership, knowing that this is what our country needs.
The IFP has always been attuned to the needs of South Africa, which is why we have placed so much emphasis on social cohesion. We know that all South Africans have a common destiny. The grand scheme of apartheid failed because it was built on the lie that people within one country can have separate destinies. The truth is, we need each other, and our survival depends on our unity.
I think we need to remind ourselves of how much we achieved in this province, even long before 1994, in the quest for social cohesion. Through the work of the Buthelezi Commission and the KwaZulu/Natal Indaba, we moved towards shared governance. Indeed, across the artificial lines of race, we governed together in the KwaZulu Natal Joint Executive Authority long before democracy was achieved. We gave the measure of what was possible. We set the standard for unity.
It is worrying that now, 21 years into democracy, people are moving away from the social cohesion we so painstakingly forged, and are beginning to vote along colour lines again. That does not bode well for the future, for we still share a common destiny. This is one country, with one future. We need to strengthen leaders who understand the importance of social cohesion and are making efforts to reach out across colour lines for a shared purpose.
I want to assure you that when you vote for Mr Zakheleni Mhlongo to become your ward councillor, you are strengthening a leadership that values the role and contribution of every South African. The IFP believes that we all have a claim to stake in the future, and we all have a home in tomorrow’s South Africa.
That sentiment is not shared by other parties. It has, unfortunately, become abundantly clear since the 2011 Local Government Elections that other political parties have very different values to the IFP. In 2011, this municipality was taken over by a political coalition between the ANC and NFP, although neither of them received your mandate to govern. And since then, service delivery has floundered.
This is something that happened in every municipality where the ANC/NFP coalition flourished. Power politics took over, and service delivery stopped. There is now ample evidence that good governance is not high on the agenda of our opponents. They are interested in votes and power. But the IFP is interested in meeting your needs and serving you.
There is going to be a battle here on the 30th of September. When the by-election is held, other parties will try to convince you to vote for their candidate; to give them another chance. But by-elections are not lotteries. You don’t take a chance with by-elections, and you don’t give chances away. There is far too much at stake.
If you want the good work of Councillor ZA Mhlongo to continue, you need to vote for Mr Zakheleni Mhlongo. You need to keep this ward in the IFP.
On Wednesday 30 September, five voting stations will open in this ward –
- Kholweni Community Hall
- Ntabantuzuma High School
- Gcininhliziyo Combined Primary School
- Enhlisa Primary School, and
- Nsukazi Primary School
In each of these voting stations, the destiny of uMlalazi will be decided. Your vote will make the difference. Your vote will elect the person to take up Councillor Mhlongo’s work.
I urge you to use your vote. Don’t let this ward be given away by default. Go to the voting station and make your mark for the IFP. And be vigilant, for our opponents are known for voter fraud and they may well bus people in to vote in this ward even though they don’t live here. If you see people voting who don’t live in ward 8, alert our party agents. uMlalazi deserves a free and fair election.
I am grateful for all that is being done to assist those in need in uMlalazi. I know that a Member of the Provincial Legislature, the Hon. Mr Motala, has provided building materials to our constituency leaders, and a home is being built for a disabled pensioner who presently struggles in an uncomfortable informal dwelling. I look
forward to seeing that home completed. I know that this is just one of many projects on the go in uMlalazi, for the IFP is active here.
We have a partnership that works in uMlalazi. Let’s keep it IFP. Let’s keep it strong.