PRINCE MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI MP
PRESIDENT OF THE INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY
Nkandla: 9 November 2018
His Worship the Mayor of Nkandla Municipality, Councillor Thamsanqa Ntuli; Amakhosi, Members of the Executive Committee; Councillors and all honoured guests.
It is a pleasure to join you this morning as we officially open this new Community Service Centre in Vumanhlamvu. This centre will be a place of gathering and a place of meeting. It will bring people together to build partnerships, debate community issues and learn about government services. I hope that it will become a centre of education, information, culture and unity, a place where people grow and develop, and where this community is strengthened.
I want to thank our Mayor and his team at the Municipality for seeing this project through to completion. The cost behind this Centre is extraordinary, but it will be worth every cent if it is used to the benefit of the people.
One way that can happen is for this Centre to be used to showcase the crafts and handiwork of our people. This will enable women, the youth, and indeed everyone with a talent, to display their products. We encourage this as the IFP, for we believe in empowering people towards self-reliance.
For more than forty years the IFP has supported cooperatives, shared development projects and community gardens. We know that a community is stronger together, and that each individual has a contribution to make to the success of the whole.
At our Women’s Brigade Conferences, we encourage women to showcase their handiwork, to inspire young girls to use what they have to make a difference. We believe that every opportunity must be taken to promote the products of people’s hands.
There is no reason why anyone should sit idle because they don’t have formal employment. There is a spirit of creativity and ingenuity among our people that must be supported. In the present economy, we must find new and inventive ways to generate an income.
I therefore hope to see this Centre become a place of empowerment. It’s presence in Nkandla will enable the community to access services, information and assistance that would otherwise be difficult to get. I encourage you to use this Centre and to support it as a valuable asset in the development of Nkandla.
Let me speak for a moment to the staff who will be working at this Community Service Centre. You are being entrusted with a position of authority. Whether you are a cleaner or an administrator, you have been employed to serve this community. You must therefore treat those who come here with respect. Be ambassadors of service excellence, so that you honour the values of this municipality. You will find that, as you do so, you will feel a sense of dignity and pride in your work.
Let me warn you to never abuse the authority entrusted to you. We will not accept corruption or bribes at this Centre. This is a place of service, where integrity, transparency and fairness are fundamental.
These are cornerstones of good governance which we highly value. When there is trust between the people and those who serve, a partnership can grow, and through that partnership the community is strengthened. Each one of you has the potential to make a difference, through social activism and political involvement. You are able to materially change the circumstances of those around you by getting involved and helping.
I know that these are many struggling families in this community. But there are also many individuals of goodwill who are able to assist, but just don’t know where to start. Helping does not necessarily mean giving money. It can mean listening, lending a hand, and simply caring. You may not be able to buy someone food, but you can weed their vegetable garden. You might not be able to employ someone, but you might have a skill you can teach them.
Indeed, this Centre is the ideal place to teach skills. I hope it will be used by community groups to teach and train, whether it’s the skill of sewing or the hands-on knowledge of carpentry or even group exercise. It is important that people have a place to go where they can meet others and do something positive. This creates not only physical and mental wellbeing, but a sense of belonging and value.
I think this is particularly important for our youth. Young people need a place to congregate where the temptations of alcohol and destructive behaviour are absent. There need to be mentors available who can guide and teach, and simply offer support. Our youth face tremendous pressure, particularly due to high unemployment and economic hardship. We need to give them a space to make their voices heard, without judgement or criticism.
These voices of our youth can create something quite remarkable. They can create change, where change never seemed possible, for our youth have a unique perspective. We need innovators and big thinkers, because the problems that must be solved are complex and deep.
I therefore want to thank the municipality for creating the building where all of this can take place. It is now up to you, the community, to turn this building into a living space of hope.
I thank you.