I am pleased that the IFP has completed this compendium of its policies which are now offered for public scrutiny. The IFP is not new to policy exercises. Since 1972 we have developed policies ahead of most aspects of the national debate. We had detailed constitutional policies when the ANC still believed that a Bill of Rights was not necessary and had not applied its mind to the fundamental issue of provincial autonomy. In the early 1980’s we developed economic policies based on fast tracking development and upliftment through the liberalisation of market forces. The Inkatha Institute became an important centre of policy formulation.
Many of our policies have been absorbed in the national debates, but we believe that the bulk of our policies and vision are still to be implemented and hold the promise of helping the county in this time of uncertainty. I am pleased that this compendium offers an immediate point of reference to a broader public of the IFP vision and about its commitment to the success of South Africa. I must thank the Dutch Government, whose financial assistance made this publication possible and all our party structures which contributed to its formulation.
This publication is the tip of an iceberg, as it is the result of hundreds of workshops and seminars which each of the IFP study groups developed in conjunction with the affected interests and relevant role players to fine tune our policies and to achieve a clear understanding of all aspects of often intricate issues. We felt it cumbersome to publish the full product of this lengthy and comprehensive process and trust that the executive summaries contained in this publication give a sufficient framework for the reader.
Policy formulation is an exercise in constant evolution, which does not lend itself to a once-and-forever statement. However, the vision which is underpinned by the policies is one which has inspired and motivated the IFP through its main battles since the time of its inception and is meant to last for as long as integrity, freedom, democracy, cultural diversity, social security and economic prosperity remain matters of concern for the South African people.
I do not expect our policies and ideas to please everyone, but I hope that they can be seen as an earnest contribution to the country’s policy debate made with the interests of South Africa at heart.