Address by The Hon. Mr Velenkosini Hlabisa MPL President of the Inkatha Freedom Party
Five Roses Mofolo Ground, Soweto: 10 October 2021
The Treasurer General, Hon. N. Singh, the deployed Member of the NEC to the Gauteng province. The National Chairperson, Hon. MB Gwala, and the NEC Member, Hon. Nhlanhla Msimango. The IFP leadership in Gauteng, led by the Provincial Chairperson Cde Bonginkosi Dlamini; the Provincial Secretary Cde Alco Ngobese and the entire PEC of the Gauteng Province; the Deputy National Chairperson of the IFPWB and MMC for Transport in the City of Johannesburg, Cde Nonhlanhla Makhuba; the Acting National chairperson of the IFPYB Cde Sanele Zondo; the National Secretary of IFPYB and MMC for Housing, Cde Mlungisi Mabaso, and all IFPYB NEC members. Members of the National Council, MPs and MPLs present, our serving Councillors; Candidates, members of the IFP and supporters; fellow patriots.
I would like to extend my thanks to the IFP Gauteng Provincial Leadership for the invitation to the launch of the Gauteng Manifesto today. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to speak to you, the people of Gauteng in particular, and to remind you that on 1 November the power to change your lives and circumstances will be in your hands. I would also like to share with you why a vote for the IFP in Gauteng is a vote for a Party that delivers on its promises to the people.
Just over a week ago, I had the honour of presenting our National Manifesto to the people of South Africa. This Manifesto, like all the IFP’s Manifestos, is a product of intense consultation with our party structures and the people of our various constituencies across the country.
The reason I am sharing this with you is to highlight the fact that the IFP is a Party that takes the time to listen to the people we serve – we are the servants of the people. IFP leaders, be it in Parliament, in the Provincial Legislatures, in Mayoral Committees, in Municipal Councils or in our Wards across South Africa, will take your call, answer your WhatsApp and be willing to help you find solutions to whatever challenges you might be facing.
You can trust the IFP because The IFP works for you.
The IFP also believes in leadership that is accountable to the people that we serve. This is why during the nomination of candidates process our structures carefully select the people who, we believe, will serve their community with integrity
On the 6th of October 2021, all IFP candidates signed the Contract of Good Governance where they pledged: To commit themselves, as the Local Government representatives to provide excellent service to the community they will serve.
All our candidates have entered into a contract with you as voters to remain faithful, corruption-free, and to ensure open, inclusive and participatory governance. Our Councillors will serve with integrity, be accountable to you, treat you with dignity and respect and always consult with you regularly, and give feedback to you. Our Councillors will be your voice in all Council Meetings because we will always work for you, and with you. This is the commitment the IFP and its representatives make to the people of South Africa and this province of Gauteng.
You have reasons to believe the IFP
I am proud to lead a Party that already has a longstanding track record of excellence. The IFP is creating the next generation of nation-builders. Our new cohort of candidates will be building on the IFP’s existing legacy of good governance and efficient service delivery.
Our fresh record of good governance and efficient service delivery here in Gauteng speaks volumes. Currently in the City of Johannesburg, the IFP has two MMCs: MMC for Transport, Cde Nonhlanhla Makhuba, and MMC for Housing, Cde Mlungisi Mabaso. These two MMCs from the IFP have delivered par excellence as follows: MMC Mlungisi Mabaso, the youngest MMC in COJ, brought a change in the Housing Department. He moved the performance of the Department in a space of two years from 17%, to 59%. He unblocked the housing backlog dating back to 1996. In one year and 10 months he has delivered 4413 houses and handed over more than 7000 title deeds confirming ownership of property and land to our people.
Just yesterday, I witnessed him handing over 100 title deeds to families in Lufhereng. Yesterday I witnessed amazing excitement from the women and a person living with disabilities, when their title deeds were handed over. The IFP is committed to fast-tracking the ownership of property and land, transparent waiting lists and that South Africans become the first priority for housing allocation.
MMC Nonhlanhla Makhuba has brought a magnificent change in the Transport Department. Through the Johannesburg Road Agency, MMC Nonhlanhla Makhubu championed the resurfacing and upgrade of roads, rehabilitation and construction of bridges, fixed potholes, created EPWP jobs and intervened on numerous water drainage challenges. Just yesterday, I personally visited Ward 15 of Soweto in Senaone, where she has brought a solution to the stormwater drainage problem that our people lived with for years. Through her intervention, the water that always floods into houses and even pulls down the fencing and walls of many families in that area when there is heavy rain, is going to be the thing of the past. This is what you get if the IFP is in governance: efficiency and true service delivery.
When we say we empower youth and women, we mean it. MMC Mlungisi Mabaso, a youth, and MMC Nonhlanhla Makhubu, a woman, are true examples of one the IFP’s 10-point Manifesto points: WE EMPOWER PEOPLE. We gave the opportunity and provided capacity to the two MMCs and we will continue to do the same for the people of Gauteng, especially the youth and women.
In the municipalities where we currently govern, our teams have scooped up accolades and awards in recognition of their service to the community and their ability to provide for the needs of the people. For example, in Nongoma Local Municipality, the IFP provided almost 5 000 decent and dignified houses, across 18 Wards. This achievement was recognised as the ‘Best Rural Housing Project’. Another example is Abaqulusi Local Municipality, which received the Greenest Rural Municipality Award for 2021.
You can also ask the people who live where we govern about our track record.
They will tell you that the IFP has built community infrastructure like halls and community centres, so that there are safe places for community members to gather, or to learn new skills. They will tell you that the IFP has paved roads, and fixed the potholes that cause accidents and damage their vehicles. They will tell you that the IFP has helped young people reach for their dreams, by providing bursaries and assistance with registration fees. This is what we can do and will do if given power to govern here.
We have built creches, so that young children have a safe place to grow. We have supplied water to thousands of homes. We have created job opportunities and empowered communities and informal traders to become self-sufficient.
You can trust the IFP because the IFP works for you.
It is clear from the IFP’s Gauteng Manifesto that we have listened to the people of Johannesburg, Orange Farm, Soweto and Ekurhuleni. And we have heard your heart.
This is why fighting corruption is one of the IFP’s top priorities.
According to a recent Corruption Watch Report, of the 5 094 whistle-blower cases they received relating to local government corruption, 41% of these cases implicated municipalities in Gauteng.
In sharp contrast, the IFP has a track record of clean governance, at national, provincial and local level. You can trust the IFP for good governance. You do not have to worry that when you turn on your television, or radio, or scroll through your social media feeds, that you will hear about an IFP Councillor being found guilty of misappropriating funds, or irregularly awarding a tender. We hold our Councillors to a high standard of integrity.
The IFP also knows that the people of Gauteng are desperate for decent work, and for employment opportunities, so that you can provide for your families.
The IFP will invest in Local Economic Development and the township economy to create job opportunities. To us, South Africans come first when it comes to jobs, housing and social services. We are not xenophobic and we are against anyone who discriminates unfairly or uses violence against foreign nationals, but we are not apologetic that South Africans must always come first. According to a report by Statistics South Africa, in January 2021 the official unemployment rate in Gauteng was recorded at 33.7%. This is the third highest in the country.
This can be changed. You can trust the IFP to give the people of Gauteng a hand up. We believe in self-help and self-reliance, and equipping people to stand on their own feet. The IFP champions opportunities for young people, women, and people with disabilities. The IFP will put Gauteng to work.
We know that access to safe, clean water is important to you.
In 2021, there were 55 863 water pipes that burst in Johannesburg alone, as a result of the ruling party’s failure to maintain water infrastructure. With our country ravaged by Covid-19, the IFP believes that now, more than ever, the provision of water and sanitation is non-negotiable. It is literally a matter of life or death.
The IFP knows that the people of Gauteng face crime and safety concerns on a daily basis. We know that the scourge of gender-based violence destroys lives and families. You can trust the IFP to fight on your behalf for more police, and for increased police visibility where and when it is needed most.
The IFP will speak up for you, and fight for your constitutional right to safety and security.
Earlier this year, when our country was engulfed in flames and anarchy reigned, it was the IFP’s Founder, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who spoke out on behalf of the people of South Africa, and in particular, the people of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. He pleaded with the President to take decisive action to restore calm, and law and order. While the country waited for the ruling party to take action, it was Prince Buthelezi who took the lead, going out in the cold, dark night to offer words of encouragement and support to his local community members.
I want to applaud all the people of Gauteng who stood up to defend their malls and shopping centres from looting sprees while the government was still hesitant. What you did is true patriotism. To defend what you have and for your own benefit.
In the aftermath of the unrest, it was the IFP leadership who were on the ground in our communities, helping families and businesses pick up the pieces.
This is the heart of servant leadership. IFP leaders speak up for their communities, they put the needs of the people first and they are quick to show up when help is needed.
I encourage you to carefully consider everything I have shared with you, and to take the time to read the IFP’s Gauteng Manifesto. I am convinced that you will see your personal concerns and issues reflected there. More importantly, you will see the solutions that the IFP is proposing. We will fix the poor infrastructure, fix poor electricity supply as you experience it in Soweto and other areas, and we will provide more job opportunities.
In 2019, I shared that the letters “IFP” must individually and collectively mean “I’m For People”, “I’m For Progress” and “I’m For Purpose”. This is the brand we give the people of South Africa.
Let us be the voice of reason in Gauteng. Let us lead Gauteng with integrity. South Africa desperately need leaders who will do the right thing and make good decisions. The ruling party has failed the people of South Africa. We need to turn this tide of inefficiency and incompetence.
I ask you, therefore, to save Gauteng by voting for a strong and trusted leadership.
On November 1st, VOTE IFP.
I thank you.