Source: The Inkatha Freedom Party
Title: IFP: Buthelezi: Address by the president of the IFP, to the people of Hlabisa, KZN
It is wonderful to be in Hlabisa this afternoon to meet with the
community and speak to you about the coming local government
elections. I have just returned from a prayer meeting organized by the
Umkhanyakude District Municipality, where we sought God's intervention
over the next five weeks before May the 18th to ensure that these
elections will be free, fair and peaceful. We also prayed for rain,
for although we have been blessed with some rain, we need much more to
see us through the coming season.
It is such comfort to know that we can pray about these issues. We are
facing a serious problem with water shortages, and although there is a
great deal we can do to save water and use it wisely, we are not able
to make it rain. Some things are just beyond our control. Because of
this, when it comes to things that are within our control, things that
we can influence and change, we have a responsibility to get involved
and do something. The coming local government elections are just such
I have been travelling throughout the Umkhanyakude District yesterday
and today, and wherever I spoke to our people I have carried the
message that this election is all about you. This is the message of
the IFP, because we know that local government is where service
delivery actually happens. It is where you have the power to directly
affect how many houses will be built, whether small businesses will be
supported, which roads need resurfacing, how accessible healthcare
will be and how efficiently your municipality will be run.
On the 18th of May, the power to decide the future of Hlabisa will be
placed squarely where it belongs; in your hands. I urge you to vote in
these elections. Make the effort. Go to your polling station. Stand in
the queue. Make a day of it, for it will be a public holiday. Bring
your family and friends. Make your mark. Have your say. This is the
opportunity for you to judge the IFP on its performance over the past
five years. It is the moment for you to say "I support my Party"; for
without you, the IFP cannot serve Hlabisa.
The IFP has been working in this community for 35 years. You know us
well and we know you, for we have lived and struggled and worked
together to bring development and hope to Hlabisa. Together we have
identified the challenges and together we have forged solutions.
Because the IFP is a party with a long-term vision, much of what we
have put in place will only bear fruit tomorrow. Our emphasis on food
security, for instance, means that we all need to work hard today,
planting and tending food rather than buying it or waiting for
handouts. But it also means that tomorrow, when food prices keep
rising to levels beyond what we can afford, our poorest communities
will still have food on the table.
The IFP has always operated with this long-term vision. When I was the
Chief Minister of the erstwhile KwaZulu Government, my administration
advocated self-help and self-reliance. Many of our people were
impoverished and there was a great ocean of need. We therefore
educated our people on cooperatives and started community development
projects. We introduced the Rand for Rand system of raising money so
that together we could build schools. We also established the KwaZulu
Finance Corporation to promote development in KwaZulu. Through KFC I
created the Ithala Bank.
Because of what the IFP did during apartheid, many of our people
experienced a better quality of life than they otherwise would have.
Impoverished communities were fed and enjoyed the dignity of
self-sufficiency. Children who were subjected to Bantu education were
taught by teachers who arrived on time, committed themselves to
teaching and poured their passion into empowering the next generation.
We were oppressed by the apartheid regime, but we were never crushed
by despair, for we had a vision and a leadership of integrity.
The IFP still offers a vision and a leadership of integrity 35 years
later, in our new democratic dispensation. Some of the challenges in
South Africa have changed. We no longer struggle against the arrogance
of minority rule. But some challenges have merely changed names; for
today we struggle against the arrogance of corrupt officials and
disreputable politicians. We struggle against well connected fat cats
and tenderpreneurs. We struggle against dodgy tender practices and a
lack of accountability.
The IFP remains at the forefront of this struggle, working alongside
the people of goodwill, people like the community of Hlabisa. We are
working to ensure a local government that is open, efficient and works
for you. The IFP is declaring war on dodgy tenders. It is unacceptable
that corrupt officials and corrupt contractors walk away with your
hard earned money, while delivering nothing of any benefit.
I led the erstwhile KwaZulu Government for eighteen years and never
once was an allegation of corruption ever leveled against my
administration. Officials knew that I would not tolerate corrupt
practices. I still do not tolerate corruption. The IFP has
administered the shoestring budget of KwaZulu, and the billions of
KwaZulu Natal, and we have not changed our policy of absolute integrity.
We therefore support proposed legislation which will require all state
employees to declare their business interests. But we want not only
officials to be accountable, but their immediate family as well. We
know that dodgy tenders are often hidden by officials using their
husbands or wives to front their own interests. We believe that
wherever there is a conflict of interest, it should be exposed. The
IFP insists that Mayors and City or Town Managers be appointed on
merit, and we believe in making their credentials publically available
so that you know what your representative can do for you.
The IFP's election campaign is all about you, because ? to us ? you
deserve honest leaders, truthful representatives and real solutions.
For this reason, we work to promote openness in our municipalities.
Tenders are public so that you will know precisely who gets what, for
what service. We believe you have a right to receive any information
you require concerning your municipality and your council.
We also believe that every Rand must be spent in a way that improves
your community and your municipality. The IFP acts against
mismanagement, corruption and waste. We are not shy to fire councilors
who are not working and not delivering. No one in the IFP gets a free
ride. For that reason, we block bonuses for managers which are not
earned through real performance.
We are committed to bringing municipal governance closer to you,
empowering you to participate in decisions that are made. Our
councilors are mandated to work closely with you every day, so that
local government by the IFP works with you and for you in all that it
does. We set a very high standard for our councilors, for we know that
they not only represent the IFP to the people, but the people to their
You can therefore expect an IFP councilor to be a person of integrity,
who will be open and fair in their dealings, include you in decision
making and be accountable for all they do. Our councilors are required
to be available to you at all times, to take your concerns seriously,
and treat you with dignity and respect.
We are so committed to accountability, that we ask anyone who is
unhappy with their councilor, for whatever reason, to call us so that
we can sort out the problem. If you have any complaints or suggestions
about your municipality or your representative, please write to us or
call us. We want to hear from you and we will take your thoughts on
board. Moreover, we will regularly report back to you at community
meetings. With the IFP, you will never have to shout to be heard. Your
voice is our voice and we know it is all about you.
The IFP is committed to service. Our councilors are, first and
foremost, servants of the people. Although they are elected on a party
ticket, we require them to work for everyone in a community. With the
IFP, there is no such thing as favouring our supporters or punishing
people who choose to vote for a different party. We don't give out
food parcels in exchange for votes. Instead, we meet needs wherever
they arise because our commitment is to service first, before politics.
The IFP believes it is grossly immoral to make promises to our people
that cannot be kept. Within the IFP-led municipalities, we are aware
of the poverty of our people and we share your everyday struggles. Our
municipalities are not awash with money. In fact, the budget is so
tight that many needed development projects are hindered. But we are
experienced in doing a lot with a little, and in IFP-led
municipalities we make every cent count.
Our councilors have taken a pledge of ethical behaviour,
responsiveness to the community and adherence to the highest standards
of good governance. We have also signed the Code of Conduct under the
auspices of the Independent Electoral Commission, committing ourselves
as a Party to pursuing a free and fair election. I signed this Code on
Wednesday in my capacity as the President of the IFP. As I did so, I
urged the leaders of all political parties to ensure that their pledge
to run this electoral race with integrity would move from a signature
to a genuine commitment.
I am concerned that there have been incidents of fraud in this
campaign already. During the voter registration weekends, the ANC
bussed people into areas in which they do not live to register and
vote for the ANC. In this way, our strongholds have been swayed in the
past, away from the people's choice of an IFP leadership and towards a
leadership that was foisted on us through fraud, deceit and trickery.
I do not want to see the community of Hlabisa cheated out of the
leadership you choose.
I must therefore sound a warning about the NFP. I do not like to talk
about this untested new party, because I know it has nothing to offer
South Africa. Its policies are vague and present nothing new. Its
ideologies are not clearly defined, and its very reason for existing
has nothing to do with service, but everything to do with a grudge its
members have against me and the IFP. This community does not need a
disgruntled bunch of defectors in bright orange T-shirts. It needs a
strong IFP to stand in the way of the ANC's pursuit of political
The NFP was birthed with ANC money, because some leaders in the ANC
saw the opportunity to split the vote by splitting the IFP. They
sought to weaken their old stumbling block, the Inkatha Freedom Party,
so that they could finally take control of the municipalities of
KwaZulu Natal. Nowhere in South Africa does the ANC have such a strong
opposition as they do in KwaZulu Natal. The IFP poses a formidable
threat to the ANC. We still control more municipalities here than they
do; and that irks them to no end.
I urge you not to be cheated out of a leadership that can challenge
the ANC's dominance, by choosing a party that exists to hate the IFP.
A vote for the NFP is a vote for the ANC, because voting for the NFP
will decrease the number of votes we receive and put the ANC into
power in Hlabisa. The NFP does not offer a credible alternative, and
they are not strong enough, big enough or relevant enough to win
control of local government. This election is about the IFP and the
ANC. If you vote IFP, you will get a leadership of integrity that is
committed to serving. If you vote for anyone else, you are going to
get the ANC.
I sound this warning to prevent Hlabisa from being cheated on May the
18th. We know that the ANC will do almost anything to gain control of
our municipalities. I urge you to prevent their power-play, by coming
out in numbers on the 18th of May and voting for the IFP. Yesterday
the Independent Electoral Commission opened another opportunity for
you to make your voice heard. During this election there will be a
Special Vote, which allows anyone who cannot vote on the 18th of May
to cast their ballot on the 16th and 17th of May. The IEC will visit
you at home if necessary, so that you can cast your vote.
This is for the elderly and ailing who cannot stand in long queues. It
is for heavily pregnant women and people who will be working or
travelling on election day. Anyone who wants to make use of the
Special Vote must register now, at their polling station. Registration
closes on May the 3rd.
I encourage you to use your vote to ensure that Hlabisa will be served
by a party that is willing and able to deliver for the next five
years. The IFP has served you for 35 years. We are not new to
politics. We have experience in governance and a track record that
speaks of our integrity, competence and vision. I ask you to partner
with the IFP on the 18th of May just as we have partnered with you.
Together, let us make Hlabisa prosper. I thank you.