IFP Launches Its Plan to Rebuild KZN [English]

Apr 7, 2024 | Press Releases

ISETHULO SESIKHONGELI SOKHETHO

INKULUMO KA-KHANSELA
UTHAMI NTULI OMELE I-IFP KWESOBUNDUNANKULU NOSIHLALO WEQEMBU KWAZULU-NATAL
ULUNDI: 7 April 2024

[Click to View isiZulu Version]

The IFP President, Hon Velenkosini Hlabisa,
The IFP Deputy President, Hon Inkosi E.M. Buthelezi,
The IFP National Chairperson and Leader of the Official Opposition in the KZN Provincial
Legislature, Hon, Blessed Gwala,
The Deputy National Chairperson, Hon Mrs T.P. kaMadlopha-Mthethwa,
The Secretary General, Hon SL Ngcobo
The Deputy Secretary General, Hon M.A. Mncwango,
The Treasurer General, Hon Narend Singh,
The National Chairperson of the IFP Women’s Brigade, Hon Princess Phumzile Buthelezi,
The KwaPhindangene Family led by Inkosi Zuzifa Buthelezi,
The National Chairperson of the IFP Youth Brigade, the Hon Sanele Zondo,
All Members of the IFP National Executive Committee (NEC),
All Members of the IFP Provincial Executive Committee, (KZN PEC),
Amakhosi aseNdlunkulu,
Abantwana baseNdlunkulu
Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of the Provincial Legislatures (MPLs),
Our IFP Mayors, Deputy mayors and Speakers of District and LM, Councillors
Members of the clergy
Members of the media,
Abezokuphepha nabaphelezela abaholi.

The People of KwaZulu Natal, Invited Guests, members of the IFP, Ladies and gentlemen, Good morning.

In the life of any nation, community and a person comes a time where tough decision must be taken. A life changing decision that changes the course of destiny.

In 1975, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi took this decision. A decision to form and establish a membership-based organization which is the IFP, a Party I am proud to be a part and member of. Today, this Party is 49 years old and still going.

The decision of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi had one vision – a vision of liberating the people of South Africa and that of a country where democracy prevails.

Prince Buthelezi, 30 years ago, in 1994, he made a decision; a decision to lead the 1994 General Elections as the Leader and President of the IFP in what was South Africa’s first democratic elections.

Through this decision, His Excellency uMntwana ensured the protection of the Zulu Kingdom and establishment of Ingonyama Trust Act, which gave recognition and power to Traditional Leadership, Amakhosi, particularly here in KwaZulu Natal in the new democratic dispensation.

Today as members of the IFP and Nation, we are faced with the same situation of taking a life changing decision, this time around, we shall do so when uMntwana is no longer in our midst.

This life changing decision is not only for you and me, however, it is for our children and the next generation. It is up to us, whether we take this decision now to change and shape the future of our children and generations to come or we let our children and generations to come to suffer the same fate that we are, which unfortunately, in 5 years from now, will be far worse than what it is now. Therefore, to us as the IFP members, 2024 is exactly like 1975 where uMntwana took a decision to establish the IFP and 1994 where the IFP contested the General Elections. As members of the IFP today, we are exactly in the same shoes as the late uMntwana wakwaPhindangene was.

As the people of South Africa, what we see now fills like an illusion of a very dark nightmare. A nightmare where everything is falling apart. A nightmare where every good work that was done by the KwaZulu government led by His Excellency is being destroyed on purpose by the ruling corrupt and clumsy government.

Today, under the ANC-led government, places and areas that we grew up cherishing as tourist destinations have been turned upside down, some even closed.

Factories that sustained livelihoods and townships have been closed.

Tourists destinations like Durban have been destroyed. The City is stinking of waste that is no longer being collected. Beaches are no longer in safe condition. Hotels are shutting down. Drugs are being sold and distributed in broad day light. Durban has turned to be a lawless City where everyone does as they please. Today, iTheku is in the brink of collapse under the ANC-Government.

People of KwaZulu Natal,

The most painful thing is that as all this unfolds, there are people who call themselves our leaders. In the same vein, there are some who calls themselves a governement. The question therefore is, can we proudly say that in South Africa, KwaZulu Natal in particular, we have a government and leaders in the current circumstances?

What kind of leadership that have no shame? What kind of leadership that have no sense of remorse? What kind of leadership that cannot control themselves and their emotions even in front of His Majesty the King and the President of the Republic? What kind of leadership that lacks respect and emotional intelligence in times where it is needed the most?

If this leadership we are subjected to cannot respect His Majesty the King and afford His Majesty the King the respect and dignity he deserves, do you then expect that this leadership will respect and treat with dignity his subjects?

People of KwaZulu Natal, what kind of leadership that fails to apologize and provide solutions to the ever-consistent loadshedding crisis and water crisis?

Do we deserve a leadership that has kept quite all along while we were being subjected to stage 8 load shedding and dry taps, that only comes now that we are approaching General Elections to not provide solutions but provide explanations?

This type of leadership, makes us believe that as the IFP, the people of KwaZulu Natal deserves a leadership that they can trust. A leadership that can do better.

The current leadership and government we are being subjected to is exactly like a horribly nightmare that we should wake up from as the people of KwaZulu Natal.

What is crystal clear with the 2024 General Elections is that the upcoming elections are more about the kind of leadership we want and the government we want. It is a choice between a leadership and government that is arrogant, corrupt and boastful and a leadership and government that you can trust and has a good track record in governance.

The difference between the ruling Party and the IFP is obvious. The IFP is opposed to corruption. The leadership of the IFP has strong conscience, moral and ethical values. The IFP respects the Monarchy and traditional leadership. The IFP is humble and conscious when it has done wrong and take responsibility.

We will offer the people of KwaZulu-Natal with the leadership of highest caliber and integrity. The leadership you can trust. The IFP-led government will listen attentively to whistleblowers whenever there are bad potatoes among us. We will serve every citizen irrespective of their political allegiance, unlike what we see being done by the ruling party at the moment. We will not divide the society on the basis of political choices, something that the ANC does without any sense of shame.

When the leadership of the Party nominated me as the Premier Candidate, I just knew what was the challenge before me. I knew that our first day in office, will be the beginning of a journey to clean up the mess of the current government. I know that the IFP leaders of public representatives are ready and equal to the task.

As the Party, after thoroughly diagnosing the challenges facing this province, we came up with 15 priority points to fix up the ANC mess that has compromised service delivery and development in KZN. You have already seen the clear-cut IFP manifesto to rescue South Africa as we have presented it to the people of South Africa.

Before I unpack these 15 points of priority, I wish to thank the warm reception we are receiving from the people of KwaZulu-Natal. As we are criss-crossing all over KwaZulu-Natal, I have met different people from different walks of life.

It is important for us to go into every village, town and townships in order to understand the depth of the problems facing our people. In that way, we will respond with much more precise solutions.

It always worries me when those who are charged with leadership responsibility become pompous. Today, I wish us to understand the difficult conditions in which the people of KwaZulu-Natal have been subjected to under the ANC leadership. The statistics on poverty paints a very gloomy picture about KZN. ANC government is aware of these stats, yet the ANC portrays a false narrative about the state of affairs in the province and the country. It is disgusting to have leadership that lacks honesty.

Based on Statistics South Africa A Poverty Mapping Overview of the Poorest Provinces, Metros, Districts and Localities in South Africa 2020 report, the poorest three provinces in South Africa were consistently Limpopo, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. It should be noted that all these provinces are under the ANC.

According to statistics, KwaZulu-Natal has 3.8 million living in poverty. Most of these people are in rural areas.

KZN’s share of food poverty line (FPL) was the highest at 40.5%, up by 12.4 percentage points compared with the 28.1% recorded in 2012. This percentage share is slightly above the Eastern Cape (40.2%) and Limpopo (39.5%) and therefore surpassed the national average of 31.9%. The districts that had the highest share of people living below the FPL in KZN in 2022 were uMkhanyakude with 53.8%, followed by Zululand and uMzinyathi with 52.9% and 49.6%, respectively.

The elders that I have spoken to, our grandmothers and grandfathers, I felt the plight of living in poverty. Some are living with their grand children who are orphans.

According to Statistics South Africa, a person in South Africa now needs to have at least R624 per month to meet the minimum required daily energy intake. The three cost of living measurements as at April 2021 were: Food poverty line – R624 per person per month. The R624 food poverty line refers to the amount that individuals need to afford the minimum required daily energy intake. The lower bound poverty line is R890, which is the food poverty line, plus the average amount derived from non-food items of households whose total expenditure is equal to the food poverty line.

If you look at these statistics, you can understand the hardships these elders are facing as heads of many families. Despite all these challenges the ANC keeps on saying; everything is well and good.

As an Educator myself by proffesion, it is painful to learn that what I have been observing in Nkandla and in the King Cetshwayo District, is a phenomenon that is everywhere in KwaZulu Natal.

The plight of our children that graduates colleges and universities and still not find jobs due to the high rate of unemployment is very painful.

These children are doctors, nurses, educators and different professionals, but they are unemployed. Parents spend their last cents to send their children to schools, colleges and universities with a hope that they will get better jobs they are qualified for and change their family situations. However, they are met with a sad reality of them not being employed anywhere in this government.

Statistics reveal that KwaZulu Natal has 913 informal settlements. Durban alone, has just over 733. Statistics further reveal that out of 3.5 million people, 800 000 people resides in informal settlements.

This community faces serious challenges from water challenges, electricity challenges, sewer challenges, waste collections and the danger of fires that when they happen, not only do they destroy building structures, they also take away souls.

As I was crisscrossing the Province of KwaZulu Natal, I heard the cries of informal settlements dwellers including those who are homeless. I also heard the allegations of corruption regarding the allocation of houses in these settlements. I heard about the challenges of load shedding, water challenges and waste collection challenges.

I met with SMME’s and small business owners and heard their challenges in accessing business funding for their small busineses. Just like established business owners, small business owners are also heavily affected by load shedding which takes all their profits. I also heard this outcry.

The taxi industry owners and taxi drivers that I met with complained about the ANC which has taken their routes to the bus industry. The ANC has taken these routes and gave their ANC allies who are milking state coffers through tenders.

The Educators that I met with complained about the challenges they are facing, which I know. The interference of political parties in their work as educators, unrecognition of their hard work in teaching learners under extreme difficult conditions in deep rural areas and poor state of infrastructure in schools especially toilets and classrooms.

The young people that I met have lost hope. Hope of a better tomorrow. Some that I met grew up in poverty, are still living in poverty and there is no hope that the situation will change anytime soon.

Statistics depicts that children and youth account for an estimated 62.6% of the total provincial population, compared with the national average of 61.1%. The dependent population is estimated at 4.219 million, while the economically active population is 7.319 million. This means that KZN has a dependency ratio of 57.6% compared with the national average of 52.1%. The KZN dependency ratio is also higher than the aggregated global average of 55.2%.

I also met with government workers who assured me that they cannot wait for an IFP Government that they believe will treat them with dignity and respect.

They all complained that under the ANC Government, their skills and competencies is meaningless as what is important is if they are card-carrying members of the ANC, thus putting service delivery at the risk of collapse because people who are employed are not trained for their jobs.

In my engagements with the people of KwaZulu Natal, including different sectors, I heard that the July 2021 riots and rampant looting left them devastated and devided in terms of race, culture and belonging.

We agreed that despite that this crisis is minal, it is worrying noting that His Excellency Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi worked so tirelessly to bring about unity in KwaZulu Natal.

Due to KwaZulu Natal being subjected to the current cohort of immature leadership, we all can agree that KwaZulu Natal deserves a better leadership.

KwaZulu Natal currently has a leadership that are thuggery and are criminals. The people of Mpangeni, Nanda, Msunduzi, Pinetown, eMlazi, Chesterville, Lamontville, Chatsworth, KwaMashu and Phoenix are witnesses as they in fear being subjected to a rampant criminal network that is terrorising these communities.

The people of Mkhanyakude have made calls regarding their safety and security owing to the open border between South Africa and Mozambique. In my engagements with them, they told me what we all know that due to the illegally open and unsecured borders, illegal foreigners have resorted to use these borders to commit heinous crimes such as stealing cars and transporting them to neighbouring countries.

What is more painful is that the people of eJozini in their attempts to fight these heinous crimes, they are being targeted, tortured and killed.

The plight of the artists industry in KwaZulu Natal have been presented to me. I am aware of the challenges artists face to make a living. What was more painful, it is most of these artists who are largely young, who are breadwinners in their families.

What I found inspiring is that despite these challenges artists face, they have not lost hope nor given up knowing that when the IFP takes government, the IFP government will provide immediate solutions.

Makhosi ase Ndlunkulu, reports that Amakhosi are not treated with dignity and respect by the current Government disturbs me seriously. The rampant killing of Amakhosi and Izinduna was also raised sharply and the government was also blamed for not taking action.

Under the ANC led government, Amakhosi are commoners, they are not treated with respect and dignity they deserve but it is government officials and ANC politicians who are more important than Amakhosi.

I believe Makhosi ase Ndlunkulu you heard a certain MEC in this province during the mic grabbing incident in KwaCeza boasting that the Government has ultimate power. Unfortunately Makhosi ase Ndlunkulu, he said that in front of His Majesty the King MisuZulu kaZwelithini and the President who is also the President of his Party.

In the 30 years, there is a vivid picture that is difficult to not remember, which is important that we change. Rural populations, especially in less developed regions of KZN, continue to be disadvantaged in accessing basic education and to be gainfully employed. Rural areas face high unemployment rates, inequality, and stagnant growth.

Unfortunately, this is a real sad state of affairs in the ANC-led KZN Government. Anyone that says the opposite, is lying.

Everyone that I met and those that sent their messages through my Facebook pages and my email (thamintuli@ntuli2024.africa), my message is one and simple; trust us to correct the damage of many years under the ANC government. The 15-point commitment to rebuild KwaZulu Natal are just the start of correcting this damage.

Our 15 priority points as IFP in KZN are:

  1. Put the economy back in the hands of locals: by ensuring that the small enterprise market and the spaza shop industry are reserved for citizens, while revitalising the rural and township economies by supporting commercially viable cooperatives and small to medium enterprises (SMMEs).
  2. Prioritise infrastructure rehabilitation and development: the proper maintenance of roads will be made a priority. The IFP will invest in fixing potholes, while ensuring that gravel roads are tarred in rural areas, townships and previously disadvantaged communities.
  3. Address the crisis of unemployment: promoting self-help and self-reliance by partnering with KZN businesses to offer unemployed citizens basic skills that will allow them to start businesses or to access job opportunities.
  4. Revitalise Ithala Bank: ensuring that it becomes fully functional and a model of a State bank, so that it can deliver on its mandate to uplift poor KZN communities.
  5. Ensure that the Office of the Premier has a fully-fledged Youth Directorate: the Directorate will monitor the roll-out of the Unemployment Graduate Grant of R3000, while ensuring that all graduates are given a 12-month internship at municipalities and within KZN provincial departments.
  6. Revitalise and reBuild eThekwini, Port Shepstone, Newcastle, Mnambithi, uMhlathuze, Msunduzi, and other key towns: by cleaning up the inner cities, and surrounding areas, reclaiming hijacked buildings, while also prioritising the repair and upgrade of existing infrastructure. A special focus will be placed on roads and in ensuring that municipalities are able to deliver stable water supplies. The IFP will strictly prohibit sewer discharge into rivers, directing stormwater runoff and sewage into treatment plants instead.
  7. Partner with KZN citizens to build safer communities: the IFP will ensure that the Province plays an enhanced role in combating rampant crime through a provincial police force, while greater support will be given to funded community policing forums.
  8. Invest in the education system: by ensuring that KZN schools are well-resourced. Free scholar transport will be made available. Vacancies will be filled timeously, while ensuring better pay and better working conditions for all teachers, including Grade R teachers. As an incentive, teacher accommodation and a rural allowance will be provided.
  9. Support and protect Traditional Leaders: by prioritising their safety, ensuring that they have tools of trade and office space, renovating Traditional Courts and building houses for Traditional Leaders. The IFP will ensure that the voice of Traditional leaders is heard in Government.
  10. Continue to advocate for the protection and support of the Ingonyama Trust: as a model of ensuring that everyone has access to land. The IFP will Commission a full scale land audit to determine who owns what, and use the findings to focus on State land, in order to redistribute it to the people.
  11. Invest in the agriculture sector: by ensuring that small scale farmers are supported. Subsidies and access to markets will be facilitated.
  12. Offer greater support for NGOs, NPOs, and churches: there will be no budget cuts for organisations that look after the most vulnerable, in particular, women, children and people living with disabilities.
  13. Expand provincial healthcare facilities for increased access to quality healthcare and medicine: especially in rural areas. To combat the rise in social ills, the IFP will partner with civil society to ensure that more free drug rehabilitation centres and programs are available in the Province.
  14. Address the service delivery backlogs at informal settlements: such as access to electricity, sanitation and other services. The IFP will allocate a greater portion of its human settlements’ budget to address these issues, with the ultimate goal of providing proper housing to those residing in informal settlements.More focus will also be placed on sustainable housing interventions in rural and urban areas.
  15. Depoliticise and professionalise the civil service: civil servants with the necessary qualifications, competence and integrity will serve in an IFP Government. Civil servants in KwaZulu-Natal must possess the necessary passion and patriotism to reBuild the Province.

The IFP understands the gravity of the problems that is faced by the people of KwaZulu-Natal. I know that there are more points that are not captured. When we are in government, we will continue to engage communities.

Finally, compatriots, I commit myself to leading a campaign to depoliticise and professionalise the civil service. Civil servants with the necessary qualifications, competence and integrity will serve in an IFP Government. Civil servants in KwaZulu-Natal must possess the necessary passion and patriotism to reBuild the Province. Service delivery at every government department will also be prioritized.

The IFP will ensure that key government departments and municipalities put KwaZulu-Natal citizens first.

The current administration occupying offices in Pietermaritzburg have for far too long dragged their feet in turning things around for the people of this Province.

They are solely to blame for the regression we have seen in the Province and for not maintaining key infrastructure projects, such as bulk water, transportation, and rail networks. These issues and many more have been left to deepen and worsen.

For the IFP, this election is about honouring the legacy of a great man, a great statesman, a democrat and a servant of the people, to the very end – our Founder, the late Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP.

uMntwana waKwaPhindangene’s dream will only become a reality if all of us vote. I therefore want to call on all KwaZulu-Natal citizens to make sure that you vote IFP on 29 May 2024.

I am proud to say that the IFP is the future. We are the Party you can Trust. I will Work for You. We will deliver on reviving, rebuilding and restoring the hope that this Province so desperately wants and needs.

Now is the time for KwaZulu-Natal to work. It is time for the IFP to take the reins and to lead this Province back to glory.

The IFP believes that hope is on the horizon. We are at the forefront of all that is good about this Province.

It is a privilege to offer you my leadership. I am ready to be your servant leader, walking in the footsteps of Prince Buthelezi. I pledge myself to be your servant as we start the process of reBuilding this Province.

Hand in hand with the people of KwaZulu-Natal, the IFP is ready to govern.

May God bless you all. May God bless our Province. May we play our part to fix our beloved KwaZulu-Natal to honour our late much loved uMntwana waKwaPhindagene’s legacy.

Let’s do it for Shenge! Vote IFP on all ballots.

I thank you.

Amandla!

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