MESSAGE OF SUPPORT
PRINCE MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI MP
PRESIDENT OF THE INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY
His Worship the Mayor of Zululand, Inkosi EM Buthelezi; the Honourable Deputy Mayor; the Honourable Speaker and Deputy Speaker; Councillors and municipal officials; and members of the community.
A few months ago, I had the privilege of joining our Mayor as he travelled around Zululand presenting the Integrated Development Plan of the Zululand District Municipality. I welcomed the Mayor and his team, because I know that these are good leaders, implementing good policy.
Today, I am here to listen to the progress that has been made. I am here to hear what the Municipality is doing, how it is resolving challenges, whether it is meeting deadlines, and where it has seen success. In other words, I am here as a citizen who cares about the development of my community.
This is a Local Government event, not a political event. So, while I am the President of the IFP, I am not here to tell you about the IFP. I know that the successes of the Municipality will speak for themselves. The integrity of our leadership team in Zululand, and the work that they are putting in, will be testimony enough to the worth of the IFP.
I am proud that the Zululand District Municipality reflects the values of the IFP. It is putting service delivery first. That is the fundamental purpose of local government: to serve the needs of the people. It is therefore good to see the District Municipality working hand in hand with local municipalities to drive development, uplift communities, and create hope.
When we chose our councilors, we looked for people who were respected in their community, people who were trying to make a positive difference. We insisted that they be activists for development, people who get things done. We wanted people who understand democracy, who respect the rights of citizens, and who put service ahead of everything else.
But above all this, there was one quality we demanded in our councilors. They had to be honest. We looked for people of integrity to lead local government in Zululand, because we are determined to keep corruption out of this Municipality.
Corruption has taken its toll on our country, at every level. From the very top, which has led to questions of state capture, to national government where it causes debacles like the grant payment fiasco, right down to the person who sits behind the counter when you go and pay your traffic fine, or apply for an ID. If that person asks for R50 to speed up your application or make your fine disappear, it’s not service delivery. It’s corruption.
I hate corruption, because it is stealing from us all. The most vulnerable citizens, the poor, children and the elderly, are suffering because of it. Corruption causes houses not to be built, it causes bridges to collapse, it makes water unavailable, it stops schools from being maintained. It creates a bottomless pit into which money is simply thrown.
Because of this, I made a commitment to never allow corruption to gain a foothold wherever I lead. For 19 years, when I led the KwaZulu Government, there was never a single allegation of corruption against my administration. When I was Minister of Home Affairs for ten years, no one ever raised questions about missing money or wasteful expenditure.
These things have become commonplace in Government today. Millions of Rands are wasted, mismanaged or diverted into someone’s pocket. They just don’t reach the essential programmes they were meant to fund.
We know that for a municipality to work, it needs to have good financial management. And to have good financial management, it needs executive oversight that is strong, moral and vigilant. That is what the IFP sought to create in the Zululand District Municipality.
I am therefore excited to hear about progress in the implementation of the IDP. It is good to hear back from our representatives and to have an opportunity to engage them on matters that affect us all. Roadshows like this are an important part of democracy. They are a way to keep the conversation going between government and the people. This is where we get to tell our representatives what we need, and where partnerships are formed to create solutions together.
I therefore thank the Mayor and his team for being with us today. May the work that they do go from strength to strength.