The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) officially launched its Gauteng volunteer programme in Soweto on Saturday, 8 May 2021, in the run-up to the local government elections.
The IFP’s Gauteng Deployed Leader and Treasurer-General, Hon. Narend Singh, MP, called on those present to act responsibly, and not to place themselves and others at risk in their efforts to mobilise and get the IFP’s message across to potential voters. He called on volunteers to “think outside of the box and find a way to communicate without putting people at risk.” He praised Gauteng, saying “What better place than Gauteng to set the example? That is also what makes it exciting to be here today, as it is in Gauteng where I always find that new, innovative and fresh ideas are born!”
Hon. Singh reminded volunteers that the Covid-19 pandemic was a situation that no one had experienced before, and called on IFP members and volunteers to set the example, stressing the importance of the adherence to Covid-19 protocols. “Only when we are all united and we all do our part in preventing the spread of Covid-19 can we move forward towards a more open society. If one of us, any one of us, does not apply Covid-19 protocols in their daily lives, it affects all of us.”
Further, Hon. Singh reiterated the IFP’s commitment to ‘safety first’ and stressed that the safety of all South Africans was their number one priority. He expressed concern over the slow pace of the vaccine roll-out, and said “If these elections are to proceed, we will advocate that this election must adhere to strict protocols and that the IEC be given the infrastructural and human support to ensure that our citizens are safe.”
Although the IFP have begun their election preparations, and President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the election date as 27 October 2021, this date has not yet been promulgated, and is therefore not yet official.
The IFP is open to postponing the local government elections to May 2022. However, the IFP will not agree to combining local, provincial and national elections, as the roles and responsibilities of public representatives at the three tiers of government are different. To dilute it to a one-size-fits-all campaign will not promote democracy and would be a disservice to the electorate.
Hon. Narend Singh, MP
IFP Gauteng Deployed Leader and Treasurer-General
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