I consider it a great privilege to witness this moment. Today there is
reason for giving thanks. It is wonderful to see Tshengisile and
Phindile, and these three beautiful children, receive assistance in
their difficult circumstances. What has been achieved here, has been
achieved through the shared goodwill and good efforts of a great team.
I thank God for the opportunity to express my appreciation to you all.
Within just a few short months, the circumstances of the Ntombela
family have changed dramatically, because people cared enough to act.
There is a world of difference between feeling sympathy for one's
neighbour, and doing something to help them. I am sure that many
people saw this family's plight. But one community member made a
difference, by coming forward and speaking to our Honourable Mayor,
Councillor NJ Manana.
Mayor Manana went to see for herself and then mobilised a team to
intervene on behalf of the Ntombela family. Our Mayor brought together
business people and Government, and inspired everyone at the Ulundi
Municipality with a vision for a new house, furniture, blankets, food
and curtains. It was a vision to make a material difference.
Today we thank the Municipal Manager and the Directors for their
commitment to realising this vision. We thank the Department of Social
Development for providing food vouchers to Tshengisile and Phindile,
so that they can feed Sbongakonke, Nontando and little Slindokuhle. We
thank the community member who highlighted this need, and then
provided blankets for the family. And, of course, for the tremendous
input of financial support, we thank the business people who came on
On behalf of the Ntombela family and people of Ulundi, let me thank Mr
Myaka of Mahlahla Consulting, Mr Thema of Proximity Properties, Mr ZA
Ntombela of Pure Magic 22, Mr Ntombela of Xolly Trading 22, Mr NM
Sithole of Zonqoba Contractors, Dr Goba of Waphatha Travelling and
Skills Development, Ms Cebekhulu of Bohano Trading Enterprise, Mr SM
Sithole of Engen Garage, Mr MM Zulu of Octo Trading, Mr Mtshali of
Masizame Agricultural Cooperative, Dr PD Mokhema, Mr Msimbango of Kays
Avantegarde Properties, Mr S Zulu of Mageba Capital Project and Mr
Mollo Simelane of Iganandoda Investment.
Your commitment to changing fives lives has made a tremendous
difference. You have also given this community, and us all, an example
of what can be achieved in the fight against poverty and inequality,
outside of Government's direct intervention. For 37 years the IFP has
advocated self-help and self-reliance, knowing that the limited
resources of Government are inadequate to meet the vast needs in our
country, while service delivery is often too slow in relation to the
immediate crisis of poverty.
Before 1994, when I led the KwaZulu Government on the paltry budget
from Pretoria, we instituted the Rand-for-Rand campaign whereby
Government matched funds raised by the community to build schools,
houses and clinics, and to run development projects. Poverty was an
overwhelming challenge at that time. But, by joining hands, we built
more than 6 000 schools in KwaZulu.
Under a democratic dispensation and a Constitution that promotes human
rights, there is a legitimate expectation that Government will assist
its citizens. But with slow economic growth, competing urgent needs,
insufficient leadership, corruption and inadequately resourced
municipalities, we would have to wait a very long time to see poverty
alleviated in South Africa if we waited on Government alone.
I have always preached the gospel of SELF-HELP and SELF-RELIANCE. I
have always emphasized that government at all levels should help us to
help ourselves. The example set by the businessmen of Ulundi in
cooperating with the municipality to assist these orphans is to me a
good example of what I have been preaching for more than 40 years and
which as I have just said I also demonstrated when I led the erstwhile
KwaZulu government. The Private Public Partnership is something we
practised in the KwaZulu Government and is not a new concept for us.
We cooperated with the Divine Life Society under Swamiji Sahajananda
to build many classrooms when the apartheid regime gave us in KwaZulu
a shoe-string budget, less than any other self-governing territory or
so-called independent states. And this was because we rejected the
breaking up of the country into independent states.
I am therefore impressed by the example set through this endeavour.
Together, we have proven that self-help and self-reliance are still
possible and still worth pursuing. Let me thank our Honourable Mayor
for bringing this team together.
To Tshengisile and Phindile, I want to say, "Stay strong". You are
mothers, and these children are dependent on you to make this new
house into a home. Make it a safe haven and a place of peace. Make it
a place where love and laughter challenge the hardships of life. There
will always been difficulties to overcome. But for the sake of these
children, I ask you to remember today. Remember that people care and
circumstances can change.
I thank you all.