October 24, 2005

In strongest possible terms, the IFP dismisses the so-called "historic" sitting of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Parliament in Estcourt as a clever extension of the ANC's election campaign.

"The intention is not to "bring Parliament to the people", as those who are trying to sell this glitzy occasion to the public are officially suggesting," said Dr Lionel Mtshali MPP who leads the IFP caucus in that Parliament. "Their real aim is to garner votes for the ruling party in the run-up to the local government elections."

As far as the ruling party is concerned, this unusual parliamentary sitting is most character-revealing. It reveals the ANC's wrong priorities. "We are spending the taxpayer's money on a public relations exercise in the province defined by gut-wrenching poverty and the highest incidence of HIV/Aids in the world - currently standing at 40.5 percent," said Dr Mtshali.

"The funds which paid for the decoration of this venue and our glamorous accommodation here could have made a difference to a poverty-stricken community nearby! If only the ruling party was serious about policy and service delivery," said Dr Mtshali.

The IFP is concerned to observe how the ruling party intends to discredit all its competitors, most of all the second largest party in the province. The ANC has betrayed its true intentions by the way it plans to conduct this unusual parliamentary sitting.

"Our status as mere onlookers in this ANC venture has been magnified by the fact that we have been allocated the same speaking time as the smaller parties, including one that has never received a single vote in any election to justify its place in this legislature," said Dr Mtshali.

"The ANC is clearly confusing service delivery, which an occasion like this should be promoting, with plain self-promotion. The IFP scoffs at the role we have been assigned in this ANC venture. This is no way of bringing Parliament to the people!" - said Dr Mtshali.

Contact: Dr Lionel Mtshali, 083 256 4902