Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
President Of The Inkatha Freedom Party
Before the 2016 Local Government Elections, I came to Nongoma with one message. I said “Trust Us”. I asked you to trust the IFP to restore service delivery and clean governance to Nongoma Municipality. I asked you to vote for a leadership of integrity that could set things right in Nongoma. I asked you to place your mark next the IFP.
Today, I have returned to Nongoma with another simple message. Today, I say “Thank you”. Thank you for voting for the IFP on August 3rd. Together with hundreds of thousands of people of goodwill, you have made a good decision. No one can ignore the message you sent through the ballot box. You want leaders you can trust; leaders who genuinely serve.
The IFP’s success in Nongoma has proven the truth that no one can keep a family apart. The IFP and Nongoma have been one family for decades. You know us, and you trust us. And you have returned us to the helm so that we can serve you the way we do best.
On August 3rd the IFP contested 19 wards in Nongoma. And in 19 wards, we won. You gave us your mandate, securing 53% of the vote for the IFP. In Ulundi, the same thing happened. We contested 24 wards, and in 24 wards we won. In Abaqulusi, as well, the IFP saw an increase in support. Thus we were able to take back not just the Nongoma Local Municipality, but the Zululand District Municipality as well. Clearly, the IFP is on the rise.
These victories are important, because we no longer need to expend endless energy on fighting political battles in municipal council. For the past five years, your IFP Councillors have worked hard to refocus the debate in council onto the things that really matter: onto service delivery, job creation, development and assistance for those who are struggling. But the politicking brought in by the ANC/NFP coalition took over the agenda more often than not, and we had an uphill battle getting your needs met under the unstable leadership of their coalition.
I am proud of the citizens of Nongoma for being so politically savvy. You saw right from the start that the coalition couldn’t deliver. Thus, as soon as there were by-elections in Nongoma, the voters restored support to the IFP. You strengthened our influence in the municipal council so that we could hold the coalition accountable and demand that they do what they had promised to do in serving your needs.
But the reality was that something drastic had to be done. The kind of service you got from our opponents was completely different to the kind of service the IFP delivers. We talk straight, govern well and run a clean administration. When the IFP is at the helm, the conversation moves away from corruption, financial mismanagement and tender fraud, and focuses instead on youth development, investment and building for the community.
We had to get things back on track in Nongoma, because in every municipality taken over by the ANC/NFP coalition, service delivery was suffering.
This is why we called for an IFP victory on August 3rd. We knew that voters had to be mobilised, branches had to be strengthened, and members had to become more active. We rallied our supporters and asked that you speak to your neighbours, your family and your friends about the difference they could make by voting IFP. In response, people started talking. The message went out that good governance could be restored, and that the power to restore it lay in the hands of the people.
For the past few years, the IFP had been receiving a steady stream of new members as people made the good decision to come home to the Party they trust. We received members from the NFP, from the ANC, and from the DA. We also gained the support of people who were choosing a political home for the first time. As we moved closer to the 2016 elections, support for the IFP was gathering pace all over Nongoma.
But the overwhelming victory we secured on August 3rd was more than any of us expected. As the leadership of the IFP, we are incredibly grateful to the individuals who worked day in and day out to get the IFP message into communities. We know that we have a solid team in Nongoma, not just among our Councillors, but among our branches and individual members. You have made us proud. I must say “Thank you”.
The team that has been placed in leadership in Nongoma Municipality is strong, unified and capable. I was delighted to congratulate the Reverend SC Mathaba, when I attended the inauguration of the Municipality last month, on being elected Mayor of Nongoma. I know that the Mayor and his team will work well with the Mayor of Zululand, to ensure that all the people of this district are served according to the IFP’s philosophy of integrity and excellence.
It is good to know that the IFP’s vision will lead Nongoma. We intend to honour your vote and to fulfil our commitment as the Party you can trust. The leadership of the IFP will hold all our Councillors accountable, ensuring that they are good representatives of the IFP’s values. We expect our Councillors to be available to you, to listen to you, and to be responsive to your needs. We expect them to seek your participation in the governance of Nongoma.
Because that is the way the IFP governs. We believe that the will of the people is best expressed by the people themselves. We don’t dictate to you, telling you what you need. We listen to you, asking what is best from your perspective. We know that there is no one better suited to design solutions to the challenges you face, than you yourselves. We are here to empower you, assist you, and further the development of this community.
The IFP understands the people of Nongoma, for we are the people of Nongoma. We have been here, working together for freedom, for democracy, and for opportunities for everyone to rise above difficult circumstances.
The IFP understands that subsistence farmers need to be supported to put food on the table, that grandmothers need support as they raise their grandchildren, that learners need assistance to acquire skills, that the sick need access to good and affordable healthcare, that everyone needs protection from criminality and violence, and that every family needs hope that they can make something better through their own efforts, in partnership with a government that cares.
Through your vote, you have created that partnership. You made a good decision.
Whatever the next five years may hold, there are certain things we know for sure. We know that Nongoma will be governed well. We know that the door will be closed on corruption and self-interest. We know that development and participative democracy will thrive in this community.
These are significant facts, because across South Africa there is great uncertainty about the future. There are reasons for concern when it comes to politics, to the economy and to education. People are growing increasingly scared for what the future may hold. In the midst of all this, there is tremendous comfort in knowing that at local level a partnership is thriving between Nongoma and the IFP.
It is good to know that a leadership you can trust has been empowered. You did it, through your vote. Well done!