It is my great pleasure to come to Weenen this afternoon so that we
can talk together about the state of governance in this community and
what is best for you in the coming months. I want to thank you, first,
for supporting the IFP in the Local Government Elections on the 18th
of May last year. Your votes ensured a strong partnership with the IFP
and gave us a mandate to serve you for another five years. Your
support was based on the relationship we have had over 37 years, and
the track record of the IFP in putting service first. Thank you for
making your mark in that election. Thank you for strengthening the IFP.
I must also thank you for supporting our councillor, Councillor
Mukhumbuzeni Masoka. In the IFP, we know that leadership is useless
without partnership. That is why we place so much emphasis on
governance from the ground up, which means empowering people to
identify issues and design solutions in partnership with their local
government representative. Unlike other parties that dictate from a
distance and have an all-consuming drive for power, the IFP works hand
in hand with the people we serve so that you can say, "My concerns
were heard. I helped fix this. I was part of the solution."
Thus, the support you gave Councillor Masoka was valuable and
important to good governance in Weenen. I thank the hundreds of
mourners who paid their last respects at Councillor Masoka's funeral.
As you know, Councillor Masoka's death has created a vacancy in this
ward, which means that a by election must be called to elect a new
representative. The Independent Electoral Commission has called the by
election for the 1st of August this year. Thus, in a month's time, you
will be asked to go to the polling stations again, and again cast your
It is important that you vote on the 1st of August. In fact, it is so
important, that I have come here myself to warn you about a plot to
rob you of your voice and give this ward away to another party.
It is not automatic that you will get another IFP Councillor to pick
up the work of Councillor Masoka just because you voted IFP in 2011.
You need to send a clear message through the ballot box on the 1st of
August that this ward asked for the IFP and this ward expects to stay
IFP. Be loud. Be clear. Because our opponents are not that good at
getting the message.
Following the Local Government Elections last year, Umtshezi
Municipality was one of 19 hung municipalities in KwaZulu Natal. The
newly formed NFP had split the vote, just as we said they would, and
local governance was hamstrung. The ANC did not win a clear majority,
and neither did the NFP. But the NFP and ANC went into coalition to
run the 19 municipalities, giving Umtshezi an ANC-NFP government. They
declared this was 'the will of the people', yet it is not what you
asked for at the Local Government Elections.
Many people recognized the shadow of treachery when Mrs
kaMagwaza-Msibi handed municipalities to the ANC through the NFP-ANC
coalition. The people did not ask for this coalition, but that is what
they got. In the 19 hung municipalities, the voters did not ask for an
ANC leadership, but that is what they got. If you had wanted the ANC
to govern in Umtshezi, you would have voted for the ANC. If you had
wanted the NFP, you would have voted for the NFP. But here, like in
many municipalities, democracy was perverted, for the voters did not
get what they asked for.
A big show was made of the NFP leadership having consulted its
membership about the coalition. But, in the end, an ANC coalition was
forced on NFP members whether they wanted it or not. Many NFP
Councillors resented being forced to work with the ANC. It was not
their choice. It was a decision taken unilaterally, at the top. They
expressed their discontent by voting against the coalition when it
came to electing office bearer positions in municipalities like
Umtshezi, Umlalazi, Hlabisa and Mtubatuba. Even though they were NFP,
and in coalition with the ANC, they voted for an IFP leadership,
because deep down they knew that the IFP is the party of integrity.
Of course, Mrs kaMagwaza-Msibi quickly called them into line, for she
could not risk annoying her ANC bedfellows. But the rumblings of
discontent within the NFP have continued. Just last month media
reports quoted NFP members complaining that they didn't get positions
in top NFP structures. They threatened to make the Party ungovernable
if they weren't given positions. They warned that they would make sure
no one votes for the NFP in 2014.
Clearly the NFP's representatives do not care about their own party.
Their personal interests trump the interests of the party they serve.
It is difficult to imagine that people like that would put your
interests ahead of their own. The NFP has recruited people who are
more interested in self-promotion than service delivery. But what
Weenen needs, and deserves, is a leadership of integrity.
It is important to me that Weenen gets leaders that will serve the
people, not serve themselves. You need good representatives; people
who are honest, accountable, willing to fight on your behalf, willing
to listen, available, competent and committed to serve. What you do
not need are people who care only about their pockets and their
bellies, and how much they can out of this position, before you kick
Before the Local Government Elections, all of the IFP's Councillors
took a pledge to serve with integrity. We in the IFP leadership made a
commitment to hold our representatives accountable, because they
represent the IFP and because they represent you, who elected them.
When you vote for the IFP, a partnership is created that we take very
seriously. For this reason, we don't tolerate freeloaders and
nonperformers among our councillors.
Many of you will recall that the IFP fired its mayor in Umtshezi in
2010, because of his maladministration of the municipality. We are
serious about accountability and demand high standards from our
representatives. We want the best leaders in local governance, because
it is here, at this level of government, that service delivery is
critical and democracy must be seen to work. We want to put power into
your hands, so that you can become self-reliant and live with dignity.
The IFP is all about empowering you and serving you.
Of course, it was painful when the former mayor stirred up a hornets'
nest of trouble in Umtshezi after we fired him. When the IFP held its
provincial conference that year, he created a big disturbance outside
and was confronted by Mr Mthembeni Majola, who was formerly the
Constituency Secretary in Umtshezi. Not long after that, Mr Majola was
shot in the back.
The political battle in Umtshezi has been intense and raw. In by
elections before the 2011 Local Government Elections, the NFP sent its
members to contest the by elections as independent candidates. They
were testing the waters to see how many votes they would get in
Umtshezi. They failed to gain support, but they succeeded in handing
Umtshezi to the ANC by splitting the vote.
That has been the tactic of the ANC all along; to support the NFP in a
bid to weaken their old nemesis, the IFP. Certain ANC leaders
supported the formation of the NFP with money and propaganda, hoping
that it would weaken the IFP to such an extent that the ANC would be
able to take control of our municipalities. With its single-minded
pursuit of domination, the ANC governs much of South Africa. But the
question you must ask yourself is, do they govern it well?
If one looks at how the ANC is faring at provincial level in KwaZulu
Natal, it is evident that all is not well. A government should not be
constantly embroiled in court cases involving corruption. An MEC
should not be able to give his wife money from Ithala Bank to buy
herself a farm, and then go on to become the Premier. Government
departments should not constantly be under fire for maladministration,
mismanagement of funds and tender fraud.
There is growing dissatisfaction with the way the ANC is governing
South Africa. People are becoming more and more critical of the ANC's
governance and the President himself is losing respect because of the
way his administration is failing. Of course, the President also faces
growing antagonism from within his own ranks. As the ANC draws closer
to its December conference in Mangaung, the battle for leadership is
pulling the ANC apart.
There are endless service delivery protests across South Africa and
people are not happy with the way the ANC is governing, because the
ANC has no respect for poverty. They just don't seem to care that
people are struggling to put food on the table. Your daily struggle to
make ends meet is far removed from the fat cat lifestyle of ANC
leaders. This is not good for our country, and it is certainly not
good for communities like Weenen.
Instead of pouring resources into job creation, the ANC pours money
into conferences on job creation. Instead of arresting the high cost
of living, they allow Eskom to hike electricity prices. Instead of
prioritizing the distribution of anti-retrovirals, they argue with the
Rural Doctors Association, the Rural Health Advocacy Project and the
Treatment Action Campaign over whether there is a shortage of
supplies. Do you want to know if a clinic has enough antiretrovirals?
Ask the doctor. Ask a patient. Don't ask the ANC.
It is evident that the ANC is failing our people. From the IFP's
perspective, the ANC poses a disturbing threat, because they wield
propaganda and empty promises with no moral qualm whatsoever. The
threat is not to the IFP, but to the people we serve; the people of
South Africa. The fact is, if you shift your vote to the ANC based on
unrealistic expectations, you will forfeit a leadership of integrity
in Weenen. I urge you not to fall for more empty promises and upbeat
slogans. You need a leadership of action, honesty and integrity ? you
need the IFP.
If people believe that the ANC can deliver jobs just by talking about
it, they may be tricked into forfeiting an IFP leadership that knows
how job creation actually works. If they are fooled into believing
that houses and farms will fall from the benevolent hand of a
government that has failed to provide fast enough or well enough for
eighteen years, our people may well be cheated out of an IFP
leadership that believes every Rand of taxpayers' money must be spent
in a way that improves your municipality and your community.
With the death of Councillor Masoka, the community of Weenen has
suffered a loss. But it will be a greater loss by far if this ward is
taken away from the IFP on the 1st of August. That happened in ward 7,
where a by election was held in Weenen in November last year and an
ANC Councillor took the place of the IFP. We cannot allow that to
happen here. We need to be vigilant and come out in our numbers to
vote for the IFP on the 1st of August.
An IFP victory is in your hands. You can make it happen here, just as
the community of Nquthu made it happen this month at its own by
election. In Nquthu the people spoke through the ballot box and
increased the IFP's support by some 20%. They too had voted for the
IFP in the Local Government Elections. They too wanted to send a clear
message that they had asked for the IFP, and they expected to get the
IFP. That is the way democracy should work.
When you judge whom to support, I encourage you to consider who has
your best interests at heart. Can the NFP really offer a viable
alternative when it has to toe the line of its coalition partner? Does
the ANC have a right to rule, even when the electorate doesn't give it
The IFP is different. We are in this to serve. We have the guts to
stand up to corrupt leaders, speak out against wrong policies and fire
people who are not fulfilling your mandate. That is the kind of
leadership you deserve. Let's make the IFP stronger through this by
election. Let's strengthen the voice of the IFP.
Across South Africa, IFP members are renewing their party membership
and receiving new membership cards with enhanced security features. We
are doing this because of the treachery in politics and the ongoing
plot of our political opponents to see the IFP destroyed. They want to
remove the IFP from the running, because our integrity makes their
duplicity more obvious. After all, a donkey can look a bit like a
horse, until you put it next to a horse. The IFP is the real thing.
I encourage all our members here to renew your own membership, if you
have not done so already, and to spread the word that the IFP is
recruiting new members every day. I ask you to join the IFP so that
you too can become part of the solution.
The IFP has partnered with Weenen for many years. I appreciate your
support and thank you for voting for the IFP. On Wednesday the 1st of
August the polling stations will open again, so that you can send a
clear message about what you want for this community. Last year you
asked the IFP to serve you for the next five years. We accepted your
mandate and made a firm commitment to be your representatives and
carry your cause. We want to keep doing what we started.
I ask you to vote IFP again, so that we can continue our partnership.
Give us your vote and we'll give you quality leadership.