Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
President Of The Inkatha Freedom Party And
Traditional Prime Minister To The Zulu Monrach And Nation
His Majesty the King of the Zulu Nation, King Goodwill Zwelithini ka Bhekuzulu; His Worship the Mayor of Nongoma, the Reverend SC Mathaba; His Worship the Mayor of Zululand, Inkosi EM Buthelezi; the Honourable Speaker and the Honourable Deputy Speaker of Nongoma Municipality; Councillors and Office Bearers; distinguished guests.
What a pleasure it is to return to Nongoma to see the municipality inaugurated. We are honoured by the presence of Nongoma’s first citizen, His Majesty our King, who has a vested interest in the wellbeing of this municipality. Nongoma Municipality serves the local governance needs of His Majesty’s people. Here in Nongoma, we understand the need for a good working partnership between amakhosi and the municipal council.
That partnership has been promoted by the IFP since the inception of municipalities, for we respect the role of the institution of traditional leadership in good governance. For decades, our communities have benefitted from a traditional social structure that provides security, identity and justice. That is the legacy of our nation’s founder, King Shaka ka Senzangakhona.
For 200 years, members of the Zulu nation have lived by the values of Ubuntu, social justice and personal commitment to the greater good. We are therefore honoured to have His Majesty our King witness this inauguration.
This is a moment of great celebration, for things have been set right in Nongoma. The past five years of local government have been difficult, for this municipality was overtaken by a coalition of the ANC and NFP. The daily battle in the municipal council was no longer about service delivery and how to meet the community’s needs, but about politicking and point scoring and keeping councillors in line.
Service delivery suffered here, as it did in every municipality led by the coalition. Not surprisingly, the ANC soon declared that it would never co-govern with the NFP again, and in the recent elections the NFP declared it would throw its weight behind the DA. There has been an enormous amount of political manoeuvring to keep the IFP out of Nongoma. But as I said when I came here in July, you cannot keep a family apart. The IFP and Nongoma have been one family for decades. You know us, and you trust us. Thus, from the very first by-election, Nongoma began calling back the IFP.
Over the past five years the IFP has welcomed thousands of new or returning members who have made the good decision to home, or to join the IFP family. We have welcomed members from the ANC and the NFP. We have grown, and we have won by-elections. But the real test came on August 3rd with the Local Government Elections.
On August 3rd the IFP contested 19 wards in Nongoma. And in 19 wards, we won. You gave us your mandate. The IFP won with 53% of the votes. We asked you to put your trust in us and to restore a leadership of integrity to Nongoma Municipality. We asked you to vote for service delivery, clean governance and representatives that put your needs first. And you responded. You voted for the IFP. Now we will honour your vote.
There is unity in the new Municipal Council. It will be led with one vision. Whereas the last five years have been spent trying to refocus the debate on service delivery, holding the council to account, and insisting that promises be fulfilled, our energy can now be poured into meeting your needs. Things are back on track in Nongoma. Just as a new broom sweeps clean, we will seek out the weaknesses, hidden corruption and inefficiencies that have opened up holes, and we will shore up the wall of good governance.
I am pleased to know that this municipality will work in partnership with the District Municipality, for the values of the IFP have been restored in Zululand. We talk straight, govern well and run a clean administration. I welcome the new leadership in Nongoma.
These are the people the electorate chose. The communities of Nongoma have entered into a partnership of good governance with the IFP, and we intend to make it work for benefit of every family. We look forward to the next five years of serving with integrity.
I encourage all our councillors to fulfil the commitments they made; to be responsive, honest, and available. I encourage you to engage with the community continually, for these are the people you serve. As the leader of the IFP, I commit our party to supporting our councillors, so that they can meet the needs that so desperately need to be met.
I urge the municipality to focus on youth development, and on assisting families who endure hardship every day. We need to ensure that subsistence farmers are supported to put food on the table, that grandmothers are supported to raise their grandchildren, that learners are supported to acquire skills, and that families are enabled to rise above difficult circumstances. His Majesty the King has sounded a clarion call about food security for years. I have done the same even before 1994.
This is a formidable responsibility. But it has willingly been shouldered by the new team in the municipality, because these men and women have a heart to serve. I wish them strength, wisdom and courage, for the journey ahead.