PRINCE MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI MP
PRESIDENT OF THE INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY
Nkandla: 27 May 2018
It is good to be here in Nkandla among people who care about the issues of governance. I want to thank you for welcoming me and the leadership of the IFP, so that together we can talk about the future of this community. There is something about to happen here that will influence your future for the next three years. On Wednesday morning, a by-election will be held in Ward 7 and you will be asked to elect a new councillor.
I was deeply saddened by the passing of Councillor Mphumzeni Mthombeni earlier this year. Councillor Mthombeni had served this ward for a long time. Indeed, in 2016 you asked him to continue to lead because of the quality of work he had been doing in this community. He was a respected leader who served us well. His passing was a terrible loss.
I am therefore grateful that his work can now be taken up and continued. The coming by-election intends to fill the vacancy left by Councillor Mthombeni, and there is undoubtedly no one better to fill that vacancy than Mr Nkosinathi Skhumbuzo Khumalo. The IFP has chosen Mr Khumalo to stand for election because we believe that he is the right person to take up the good work that has been done here, and run with it.
I ask you to support Mr Khumalo and to choose him as your Councillor on Wednesday. I know the kind of leadership he offers and I am proud to see him serve you. Like all our Councillors, Mr Khumalo has made the commitment to represent your voice with integrity, accountability and transparency. He has promised to be accessible, to listen, and to work for your best interests. He has promised to uphold the principles of justice and servant leadership.
The IFP demands this commitment from all our Councillors, because we know that councillors are the first point of contact between the people and government. It is therefore councillors who ensure that democracy works at this most fundamental level of government. When a community is served by a good councillor, needs are met and development becomes possible. A good councillor ensures that you are able to create your own solutions as the drivers of success. You become part of local governance, which is what democracy is all about.
So it is very important that the right people are elected as councillors. They must be people backed by a party of sound principles and integrity. When you vote for Mr Khumalo, you are voting for the IFP. And when you vote for the IFP, you are voting for clean, honest, efficient governance. This is what you have asked for in Nkandla.
In 2016, in the Local Government Elections, the IFP did well throughout Nkandla. The media made a huge fuss of the IFP winning in the former President’s own hometown. But that was nothing unusual. The IFP had led in Nkandla before the 2016 elections, and the electorate simply asked us to keep up the good work. Our partnership here with the people we serve was strong, because it was based on a legacy of trust.
That makes all the difference. When people can trust their elected representatives, a real partnership is formed that opens the way for growth, development and prosperity. It is tragic to think that this kind of partnership doesn’t exist in most of the municipalities in South Africa. Wherever elected representatives have failed to serve with integrity, wherever they have broken people’s trust, governance is weakened.
Just this week the Auditor-General presented his report on the state of municipalities in our country. He revealed that, in the past financial year, irregular expenditure increased by 75 percent. Fruitless expenditure increased from R16 billion to more than R28 billion. Can you imagine the damage that has been done as money was just poured down the drain? Fruitless expenditure refers to money that has been spent by a municipality, without achieving results. The money is now gone, but the problems remain.
Sound financial management is one of the cornerstones of good governance. That is why the IFP places such emphasis on clean administration. We know that corruption is the number one reason why money doesn’t do what it is meant to do in municipalities. Corruption is therefore Enemy Number One. The IFP has been fighting corruption since long before democracy. When I led the former KwaZulu Government, for 19 years, not a single allegation of corruption was ever levelled at my administration.
In 1994, when South Africa entered democracy, a partnership of trust was already established between the IFP and the people of this Province. Thus you asked the IFP to govern, and for the first ten years of democracy, the IFP ran a clean, efficient provincial government. Under three IFP Premiers, there was not a whiff of corruption.
But the IFP is no longer at the helm of provincial government. Now, the stink of corruption is assaulting the nostrils of all South Africa’s people. I thank God that the voice of the IFP is still heard in our national Parliament, in our provincial Legislatures, and in municipalities like this throughout KwaZulu Natal. We are fighting hard to push back the cancer of corruption in our country and, wherever we serve, we lead by example, showing how governance can be completely clean.
It pains me to think that Nkandla became something of a swear word in our country because of the unethical leadership of the former President and his Party’s long refusal to act against corruption. When people said “Nkandla”, they meant “that place where corruption stole from South Africa”. It is not surprising that in this very place the people called on the IFP to govern, because the IFP’s integrity shone like a beacon.
Now when people think of Nkandla, they think of that place where the IFP leads. Nkandla has become a place of hope and a place of promise. The IFP is repairing the damage done by others, because we believe that the people of this community deserve to live with dignity. This is your home, and we will work to bring service and development so that all of Nkandla’s people can live secure in comfort.
On Wednesday morning, just three days from now, voting stations will open at Chube Traditional Court, Makhanyezi Primary School, Bhilibana Secondary School, Enyawoshane Primary School, Fangelakhe Primary School, Enhlababo Primary School and Maqhashiya Primary School. More than 3 700 registered voters will be asked to make their mark for the governance of Nkandla.
I urge you to use this opportunity. Use your vote. The only way to ensure the future of good governance is to cast your vote for the IFP in this by-election. Often people think that by-elections aren’t as important as local government elections, or national elections, and they don’t make the effort to get to a voting station. But by-elections are quite often game changers, shifting the balance of power in an entire municipality or even in a district.
What you do here on Wednesday, in Ward 7, will be significant for all of King Cetshwayo District. It will send a powerful message to the leaders in this District, and indeed to all of Government, that you demand integrity. Your families and your communities deserve honest governance. You deserve leaders you can trust and a Party that works in partnership with you.
So when voting stations open at 07:00 on Wednesday morning, be ready to make your mark for good governance. Make the good decision to keep being served by the IFP. We are working for you.
I thank you.Mr Mkhwanazi, representing the Mpukunyoni Tribal Authority; His Worship the Mayor Cllr VM Gumede