Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
President Of The Inkatha Freedom Party
KwaDukuza: 24 January 2016
I come to KwaDukuza fresh from two by-election victories which the IFP won with a good margin this week. These by-elections, which were held on Wednesday, are the latest among many that the IFP has won, month after month, for the last five years. Indeed, since the last Local Government Elections in 2011, the electorate has been sending one message through their votes: We want the IFP back!
I find that every weekend I am visiting communities to welcome people back to the IFP, and to welcome new members who are joining the IFP family. There is a wonderful trend of growth in the IFP and it’s not without reason. The IFP has worked diligently for the good of South Africa for almost 41 years. You know us and we know you. Across South Africa there are partnerships between the people and this party which have delivered results, consistently, time and again. Our track record is a matter of great pride.
Here in KwaDukuza, the partnership between the IFP and the people has remained, despite other parties coming in and drawing voters away with some big promises. The IFP has remained and we have kept working, serving your best interests and meeting your needs. We do this because the IFP has a unique philosophy. Unlike other parties, we don’t believe that you must vote for us first before we deliver. We believe in earning your trust and earning your vote. We believe in serving first and serving always.
It is not surprising then that as people become disillusioned with other parties, they are coming back to the IFP. It is also no surprise that these other parties are failing to fulfil their big promises. Those promises were made without any thought to how they could be fulfilled. Some of them were lies, pure and simple. Like the lie that a brand new party, which had no ideas of its own, could provide a stronger opposition to the ANC. Just weeks after their first election, they went into coalition with that very same ANC.
The leadership of the NFP let you down, just as the ANC has let you down over 21 years. Whether you have ever voted for them or not, the ANC made promises to the entire country that it has not fulfilled. Instead, it has led us down a path of poor economic decisions, unemployment, corruption and weak leadership. South Africa has had enough.
The Fees Must Fall campaign for free tertiary education started because the ANC promised free education in the run up to 1994. They’ve had 21 years to make good on that promise, but only now that the people are calling them to account have they set up a commission that will investigate, for the next 8 months, whether it is even possible to fulfil that promise.
I am not here to speak to you about the failings of the ANC, however. Each one of us knows the challenges our country faces, just as we know the hardship we deal with ourselves when we wake up each morning. I have never been one to dwell on the problems. Instead, I dwell on the solutions, constantly working out how we can change people’s circumstances, open up opportunities, create growth, build cohesion and fast-track development. That is the way of the IFP.
I am constantly amazed when Government fails to deliver, considering the vast resources they have at their disposal. Many of you may remember when the IFP administered KwaZulu and when we governed KwaZulu Natal after the 1994 elections. Before democracy, we administered KwaZulu on a pittance. We had to make do with the scraps we received from the apartheid Government. Yet still we built some 6000 schools, ensured that countless families had food on the table, created jobs through community development projects, and empowered entrepreneurs with the seed capital they needed. We managed to attract and keep investors and we build good business relationships.
For the ten years we governed KwaZulu Natal, the IFP capitalised on the good foundation we had laid. Now we were better equipped with state funding, and we were able to begin infrastructure development and press forward with industrial development to ensure that KwaZulu Natal became a hub of economic growth.
Unfortunately, our old political opponents never lost their passion to wipe the IFP off the map. Their deep pockets when it comes to election campaigns, and their shallow conscience when it comes to making false promises, changed the political landscape. The IFP found itself back in an opposition role; a role we know how to play with excellence. We chose then to become a constructive opposition, bringing solutions instead of just pointing to the problems.
The contrast between the IFP’s administration and that of the ANC was huge from the start. Immediately they shut down teacher training colleges and halted development plans, and reversed all the gains we had made in good governance, simply because these things were the legacy of the IFP. In their first ten years, they managed to build just 33 schools in KwaZulu Natal. Good governance had come to a grinding halt.
As I said, I am amazed at how badly they fail our people, when they have the vast resources of state available to them. The IFP doesn’t have access to state resources. We don’t administer public funds and decide what goes where. We DO exercise a vocal oversight role in the KwaZulu Natal Legislature and in the National Assembly. But in the end, the ANC decides whether it is going to spend your money, state money, on you. They also decide how much of that money goes into the pockets of tenderpreneurs, comrades and cousins.
The fact that we don’t have access to state resources has never stopped the IFP. We don’t just sit back and say, “Well, we can’t do anything until you vote for us.” We have kept working and serving and making the most out of what we can raise through party activities and partnerships. We know how much need exists among our people in South Africa. The IFP was created to meet needs. We operate on the principles of self-help and self-reliance. We believe in empowering people to change their own circumstances. And we expect every IFP member to walk the talk.
I am brought to KwaDukuza today by one man, who is living the IFP philosophy of starting a revolution of goodwill. Today the IFP has handed over a house to a destitute family, not because we have the resources to help, but because we cannot turn away from the great need of so many. I want to publically thank Mr Musa Sibisi for taking it upon himself to find a practical solution. When he saw the need of this family, he didn’t come cap in hand to the IFP leadership. Instead, he went to people of faith, and inspired them with the vision of the IFP.
Mr Sibisi brought like-minded patriots on board and together they built a house. They have changed everything for one family. That is the IFP way. To the IFP, you are not just a number, but an individual. You are not just part of the crowd that we need to entertain every five years to get your votes. You are mothers and sons and students and singers. You are believers, sisters, Facebook friends, and shoppers. You are providers, job-seekers, innovators and revolutionaries. You are the people we serve.
Let me ask you to imagine a future in which the IFP gains control of the resources of state. We believe in service delivery. We run a clean ship. We are not afraid to take bold decisions. We have decades of experience in financial management and good governance. And we are not held to ransom by tripartite partners who seek communist policies for a democratic South Africa.
The IFP is able to do much with little. How much more could we do if we administered the resources of your municipality? A time is coming for the people to decide who is best suited to run KwaDukuza. We are just months away from a Local Government Election. This opportunity only opens once every five years, which makes it a pivotal moment to choose your future. I want to encourage you now to register to vote in the coming elections. Let us make sure that we have more branches than those that exist as I speak to you now. Without branches we will not make it.
The first voter registration weekend is on 5 and 6 March. Between now and then, let us get talking about the IFP. Let’s generate debate on what KwaDukuza needs, about how those who have failed us don’t deserve our vote, and how the IFP is hard at work to get KwaDukuza working.
I invite you to join a branch of the IFP so that you can make your contribution as we begin to change things in this community. The IFP is growing fast, and we are mobilising people to start new branches. So get involved. Have your say. And make a difference for good governance. We need branches up and running until the day of the election.
I want to thank you for welcoming me today and for listening as I offer you the leadership you so richly deserve. That is the leadership of the IFP. Trusted. Clean. Reliable.
I thank you.