Durban, 2nd April 2011
The Inkatha Freedom Party is proud to launch its
Local Government Election campaign for 2011. The 18th of May will be
a decisive moment in our nation's history. On this day, the power to
decide the future will be placed squarely where it belongs; in the
hands of the people.
This election is about you. It is about your
community, your needs and your municipality.
This will be our country's fourth Local Government
Election since we attained democracy in 1994. We have come a long
way in the past seventeen years and our democratic values have been
tested often. I wish I could say we have arrived at a point in which
our commitment to liberty, participative governance and development
is beyond reproach. But, rather than arriving, I somehow feel we have
come to a crossroads on what may still be a long journey.
When our nation's leaders came together around the
negotiating table at the World Trade Centre in 1993, a power
struggle ensued with many overt demands and an even greater measure
of undertones and unspoken goals. The IFP came to the table as the
party that would not allow a new political dispensation to be
decided bilaterally between the then ruling Nationalist Party and
myself, as the representative of the dispossessed majority.
The IFP had been the political home of
disenfranchised South Africans for almost two decades, since the ANC
and other political organizations were banned and their leadership
was in exile. But I had no desire to be remembered as South Africa's
official liberator. My title, reputation and legacy are of no
consequence unless I serve South Africa with selfless integrity.
Just as I had campaigned for the release of Nelson Mandela and all
political prisoners, I took the principled stand that negotiations
toward democracy must include every political representative.
We were negotiating an inclusive South Africa in
which every South African could claim a stake and find a role. I had
served in governance for several decades and I knew how difficult it
was going to be to transform our nation. We did not enter democracy
with perfect leaders and we do not live under perfect leaders today.
As the abolitionist Wendell Phillips said, "Eternal vigilance is the
price of liberty". We can thus never stop watching our leaders and
holding them accountable every step of the way.
Among the undertones at the negotiating table was
the ANC's goal of creating a centralized government in which power
was held tightly at the top, in the hands of a few. The presumption
was that the few who would hold the power would be of such pure
character and noble mind that they could never misrule our people.
The ANC would like to pretend that the leaders they put forward are
beyond reproach. That is, of course, dangerously naïve.
The pursuit of centralization turned the ANC
against the idea of provinces. They preferred to see policies
developed at a national level, rolled out on a conveyor belt system
to the provinces, regardless of the idiosyncrasies of our diverse
regions and peoples.
The IFP fought tooth and nail for provinces. We
were established upon the notion of federalism, as the most
effective means of ensuring democracy in a pluralist society. We
sought to bring governance closer to the people, so that you could
partner with your representatives in designing solutions to specific
service delivery problems.
Our adamant stand in favour of provinces led to
South Africa's Constitution giving provinces the right to vary their
policies on issues such as policing, education, housing and
agriculture. Because of the IFP's stand, local government is not
pinned down by the iron hand of national government when it comes to
deciding on matters like health services, transport, electricity and
We fought for the Constitution to enable strong
provinces and strong municipalities. But the fight to see
municipalities freed from the ongoing centralist design of the
ruling Party continues. For this reason, the IFP's focus has not
changed from empowering local government. We have been in a position
to prove that IFP led municipalities function better than ANC led
municipalities, because our fundamental commitment to democracy is
not tainted by contradictory aspirations.
The IFP seeks to see South Africa governed by
South Africans, in partnership, from the ground up, through strong
municipalities with tailor-made service delivery plans. It is about
you; about building you a house, about educating your children,
about fixing your roads, about giving you quality medical care, and
helping you find employment that is sustainable and dignified.
You should be the one to decide whether a clinic
is being run properly, or if fire-fighting services are needed in
your area. You should be telling your representatives about
electricity and water needs, and seeing those needs are met. The IFP has
decided to focus its campaign in 2011 on you, because only through
your participation and vigilance can local government succeed. We
cannot govern effectively without listening to you, and finding out
how to serve you best.
The IFP is committed to service. Our councillors
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.
In Umlalazi, for instance, we have a history of
sound financial management and unqualified audit reports. The same
applies to Endumeni. In Msinga, sound financial management has
enabled the municipality to engage in an R8-million project to
supply electricity to the Msinga community, which is 99% rural. In
Ntambanana, where no income is generated from service charges,
refuse removal is rendered by the municipality at no cost to the
In Abaqulusi, large areas of the municipality were
electrified during the current term of local government. Edumbe is
also noteworthy for delivering electricity connections to local
businesses. In Uphongolo, pre-paid meters have been installed to
eliminate incorrect meter readings. In Dannhauser, a stable staff
complement has meant continuity of interaction with the community.
The intense relationship between the Mayor and the local business
community in Nongoma is producing good results. And in Big Five
False Bay, where the municipality has virtually no income, we have
managed to build a crèche, a community hall and an access road.
These are small achievements, but they are
meaningful, for they directly affect the quality of life of the
people we serve. We would like to see capacity at all our
municipalities strengthened, because a better functioning local
government means a better functioning democracy. I have warned in
the national Parliament that South Africa's democracy is under
threat because of the irresponsible actions of some of our leaders.
To my mind, making empty promises is one of the most irresponsible
things a government can do.
For seventeen years the ruling Party has been
making promises and focusing your attention on the final goal,
without ever explaining how it plans to get there. Our President has
declared this the year of job creation, but there is no clarity on
how government intends to fulfil that goal. It is not enough to
simply talk about something. One has to know how to achieve it, and
be willing to sacrifice and work to get there.
Government's lauded Expanded Public Works
Programme created 2.4 million jobs. But they lasted less than 50
days. Between 2009 and
2010, we lost about 1.17 million jobs, rather than seeing the half a
million new jobs the President committed himself to delivering.
Unemployment amongst the youth in our country is
at 51% and the National Treasury predicts that by next year 16
million people will be receiving social grants.
I am a pragmatist, because life has taught me not
to indulge dreams as if they were reality. Pragmatism prevents me
from endorsing the ANC's dream of redressing the many imbalances in
our society without paying any cost. To create job opportunities, we
must pay the social cost of creating maximum flexibility in the
labour market. To create a new industrial basis, we must accept the
political cost of displeasing the trade unions, curbing expectations
and being honest with our people.
It is dishonest to announce a Youth Wage Subsidy,
when nothing ever comes of the proposal. It is dishonest to claim
that government will somehow ensure that teachers are in class on
time, teaching, with no negligence of duty, when government's poor
management of labour relations led to a crippling public service
strike. It is dishonest to promise quality schooling, when the World
Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index ranks the quality of
South Africa's schooling as among the worst in the world.
Last year, during his State of the Nation address,
President Zuma committed Government to maintaining and expanding our
Instead, South Africa's road network is
deteriorating at an alarming pace with some R120 billion needed to
maintain our roads. Due to poor planning and lack of basic
maintenance, many of our roads are riddled with potholes.
The Department of Human Settlements recently
revealed that it will cost approximately R58 billion to fix poorly
constructed RDP houses.
Government throws around figures like this to show
how much it is doing for our people. But what was the cost of
employing unfit contractors in the first place? And who is
benefitting from all this wastage of government funds? Certainly not
you, the taxpayer.
Certainly not you, who will go and vote on the
18th of May.
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
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
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.
We insist on a local government that is open and
efficient, and works for you. 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
councillors 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 councillors 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 councillors,
for we know that they not only represent the IFP to the people, but
the people to their Government.
You can therefore expect an IFP councillor 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 councillors are required to be available to you at all times, to
take your concerns seriously, and treat you with dignity and
We are so committed to accountability, that we ask
anyone who is unhappy with their councillor, 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.
I am proud of the fact that the IFP remains a
party of integrity in an environment of dirty politics and
power-hungry politicians. We have refused to compromise our
integrity, even when it has meant that we cannot fight back in
unfair fights. But even though our commitment to maintaining the
high moral ground has allowed some of our opponents to malign us, it
has also allowed us to point to our track record during every
election and ask the electorate to make an informed decision on who
has the experience and integrity to lead our country.
The IFP's integrity has been a stumbling block to
the ruling Party for 35 years. We remain a stumbling block because of
our determination to safeguard democracy and bring the power of
governance closer to the people. We are bold enough to speak out
against the creation of a welfare state, and call for a
developmental state that enables the ideals of self-help and
self-reliance to become reality. We have not kept silent about
corruption at Ithala Bank. We have not looked the other way as the
Youth League leads the ANC around by the nose.
The ruling Party is still intent on removing this
stumbling block; the IFP. In every election since 1994, we have
witnessed electoral fraud and irregularities aimed at swaying the
balance of power further towards the ANC. We have engaged the
Independent Electoral Commission on these matters, and exposed how
the ANC busses people into areas in which they do not live to
register and vote for the ANC. In this way, IFP strongholds appear
to receive increasing ANC support.
This is not the lament of a declining party. It is
a statement of fact. Let us not forget that in 2009 more people
voted in Durban than were even registered in the first place. Let us
not forget how election results have been declared in the past
before counting has even been completed. The IFP is not alone in
making these observations. They have been confirmed by the
Democratic Alliance and by the Minority Party. The ANC has crippled
smaller parties in the past, and it intends to cripple the IFP.
But I believe there is a groundswell of citizens
who have seen through the empty promises and dirty politics, who are
ready to cast their vote for an alternative of integrity. You are
the ones who can turn the tide in our country. You are the ones who
can safeguard the future of democracy. With your vote on the 18th of
May, you can change the course of South Africa away from a steady
decline, to a future of real possibilities.
The IFP wants to partner with the people of
goodwill. We want to serve you and work for you, in a partnership
that puts you first. As the President of the IFP, I ask you to
strengthen the hand that works for you - vote for the IFP.
Our Party believes that South Africa deserves more
than a tennis match of criticism. We deserve accountable leaders.
For this reason, the IFP has taken bold steps towards creating a
constituency system in the election of our representatives.
I was interested to read suggestions in the media
recently that South Africa return to a constituency based electoral
system. As Minister of Home Affairs for the first decade of our
democracy, the Independent Electoral Commission fell under me as the
line function Minister. The Commission which was appointed during
that time recommended that South Africa adopt a composite electoral
system; part proportional representation and part constituency
based. In this way, we could ensure fair representation and
simplicity of voting, while also achieving a measure of
accountability. But Cabinet rejected this recommendation. Thus
South Africa is still bound by proportional representation only.
Accordingly, in each election voters choose a party to represent
them, rather than a person, and then rely on that party to choose
who will be sent to Parliament and the Provincial Legislatures to be
the voice of the electorate. Representatives are accountable to the
party that gave them their position, instead of being directly
accountable to the voters.
The IFP is concerned about this lack of
accountability. In the 2009 general election, we therefore decided
to give more power to the electorate by using a constituency based
system to draw up our party lists. This enabled our supporters to
decide for themselves who their representatives would be. This brought about profound transformation in our
party lists, both in terms of having new faces and in terms of
senior leaders finding themselves lower down on the list, after many
of their junior colleagues. This was true democracy in the making
and a reflection of the IFP's commitment to accountability in
Because of this commitment and our unique approach
to drawing up our party lists, our communities have the final say
and no one has leadership forced upon them. In IFP municipalities
you will never see the kind of violent protests that communities in
ANC-led municipalities are being forced to engage, just to get their
leadership to listen to them.
I sympathise with the community of Zandspruit,
which has had to resort to protest action over a councillor whom
they believe is not performing and is not keeping promises. Even in
the face of violent protest, the councillor - whom the community has
rejected - refuses to step down, because they have the backing of
the ANC. The IFP does not condone violence, but we understand the
depth of frustration that is causing people to rise up against their
The culture of the IFP is different. We do not see
service delivery protests in our municipalities, because we believe
in listening to the people and responding to their concerns with
genuine answers. I know that many South Africans have to contend
with a certain amount of arrogance when you deal with government
officials at any level. To the IFP, this is unacceptable. We believe
in service first. We are here to serve you, not to tell you how
important we are. For this reason, we advocate a code of conduct for
all officials who deal with the public.
Officials should be held responsible for their
attitude, as well as their actions.
The IFP will keep taking steps towards greater
accountability so that the electorate can instruct their
representatives, rather than simply being informed after the fact
about what is being done supposedly in their best interest. I regret
that often this is the way governance is done, and the IFP is
fighting to change it.
Our bold step towards creating a constituency
based system reflected the tide of renewal that is refreshing the
IFP. While our values remain uncompromised over 35 years, the IFP
has evolved with the changing needs of our country. At this
juncture, the greatest need in South Africa is for a leadership that
will take a stand of integrity, point to the hard path, and walk it.
But our country's leadership is disappointing us,
and our citizens are beginning to question their integrity. We saw
this with the saga of our National Police Commissioner who was found
guilty by the Public Protector of improper conduct and
maladministration. Two weeks later, Police from the Crime
Intelligence Unit raided the Public Protector's Office, demanding
access to documentation used to make this guilty finding. The
National Commissioner averred this was not done on his instruction.
But if the Police are not operating on the instruction of their
Head, who is instructing them?
Independent institutions like the Public Protector
and the IEC were established to protect us from government just
doing as it pleases. They are one of the checks and balances we have
put in place to protect the interests of our people from the at
times conflicting interests of the ruling Party. For some time now I
have warned that we need to strengthen and safeguard our independent
Beyond these institutions, we should be protected
by the Constitution itself. But if the ANC attains the power it so
persistently pursues through the destruction of opposition politics,
it will have free reign to change the Constitution as it sees fit.
For the ANC, bending the rules has always been a possibility.
One instance in which "bending the rules" is
utterly unacceptable is when it comes to elections. The IFP stood
against the floor crossing legislation which allowed elected
representatives to change political parties between elections,
taking their seat with them. This "cross-titution" expressed blatant
contempt for the voters and the democratic process; it betrayed the
mandate of the people.
Our elections over the past 17 years have been
lauded as "free and fair". But they have not been without incidents
of fraud and irregularities. Speaking at the launch of the 2011
Local Government Elections, the CEO of the IEC, Advocate Pansy
Tlakula, admitted that, just as no human being is perfect, neither
is the electoral process.
Since 1994 we have seen incidents of violence,
intimidation, "buying" of votes, brown envelope journalism and fraudulent
registration. At the IEC Leaders' Summit I tabled my unhappiness
over the fact that complaints about fraud at each election have
never been addressed by the IEC. Quite often we are told that we did
not present the complaint at the right time, or one or the other
technical reason is given to explain why the IEC is hamstrung to
investigate our complaints.
During the voter registration weekends in February
and March this year, alarm was raised when some 400 people from
Umlazi and KwaMashu were bussed into Umhlanga by the ANC, given
false addresses and assisted to register. When they were questioned,
some admitted to being offered bribes of money and job offers to
vote for the ANC in Umhlanga on the 18th of May. The IEC was called
upon to investigate this fraud.
But, as it stands, these fraudulent voters will
get to vote on the 18th of May, because the IEC insists that once
the date of the election is gazetted, there is nothing they can do.
I disagree. In terms of section 8 of the Local Government Municipal
Electoral Act, the IEC may request the Minister to postpone the
voting day determined for an election if it is satisfied that "it is
not reasonably possible to conduct a free and fair election on that
The date of the election should therefore not be
the deciding factor, but rather the likelihood of a compromised
election; which happens when there is fraud. Our citizens have
questioned why the IEC does not require proof of residence when
voters go to register, just as the banks require, or the cell phone
companies or even clothing stores.
Surely ensuring a democratic electoral process
that is beyond reproach is more important than registering a cell
One citizen has even questioned why the IEC does
not use transparent ballot boxes to ensure that no fraudulent votes
are placed inside the boxes prior to voting. Our citizens are
thinking of innovative ways to safeguard our democracy. Shouldn't
our Government be doing the same thing?
I am concerned about the change to the electoral
law which came as a result of agitation by POPCRU, to extend the
Special Vote to municipal elections. The IFP supports the Special
Vote, in that it offers an opportunity for the elderly and the
ailing to vote without having to stand in long queues on voting day.
The Special Vote now allows anyone who cannot vote on the 18th of
May, for whatever reason, to vote on the 16th.
Our concern is that the Special Vote has been
severely abused in past elections to commit electoral fraud. We
therefore call on all IEC officials, Party Agents and members of the
public to be vigilant against fraud. This election is about you.
Don't let yourself be cheated out of the leadership you choose.
Don't let a result be engineered through fraud, because that will
nullify the very purpose of a democratic election.
I have spoken in Parliament, during the debate on
the President's state of the nation address, about the threat to
democracy created by the ruling Party's determined pursuit of
hegemony. I pointed out that some ANC leaders have supported a bid
to destroy the IFP, with both propaganda and money. We have clear
and overwhelming evidence in this regard, which I first took to the
President and then to the Deputy President, before coming face to
face with the reality that I would have to go public if I wanted
It has pained me to see the IFP abused in the
media, particularly by the same journalists and the same newspapers
again and again. I presented Parliament with a leaked document which
alleges that a certain editor has been paid off to protect our
opposition from any negative publicity. The veracity of the document
is hardly questionable when we see, day after day, our opposition
being promoted while we are slated, often on the same page.
The IFP has had to approach the Press Ombudsman
several times to correct lies in the media. The trend towards
irresponsible journalism is deeply worrying, for many of our people
believe everything they read, regardless of factual inaccuracies,
poor investigative reporting and blatant assumptions. There is a
good deal of bias in our media which favours the elite and the rich.
But there are also some remarkably astute and
ethical journalists who do our country a great service by getting to
the bottom of the nonsense. I would challenge those men and women to
investigate who oils the propaganda machine that has been turned
against the IFP for the last 35 years. We know that in the previous
regime the SABC was instructed to sideline Inkatha. But whose
instruction is our media following now?
The IFP has always swum against the tide and we
have drawn a lot of criticism and ire from those who wish to run
roughshod over the genuine will and interests of the people. We swam
against the tide when I refused to accept nominal independence for
KwaZulu, which the apartheid regime dangled before me as the Chief
Minister of the erstwhile KwaZulu Government. The kind of
independence they offered would have seen millions of black South
Africans become foreigners in their own land. Even when we won the
vote, we would have remained disenfranchised.
Former President FW de Klerk admitted before the
Truth and Reconciliation Commission that my rejection of
independence for KwaZulu was the anvil on which the grand scheme of
apartheid was finally crushed. The IFP led Government of KwaZulu
made apartheid untenable. But we had no desire to become known as
the official liberator of South Africa. We were not in it for the
glory, but for the people. Thus when the Nationalist Party offered
to negotiate a bilateral settlement with me as the sole
representative of the disenfranchised majority, I said no. Release
the political prisoners, I told them. Bring our exiles home. Then we
The IFP is on the side of the people. We are not
on the side of power, or money or prestige. As I have said, the IFP
wants to partner with the people of goodwill. We want to serve you
and work for you, in a partnership that puts you first. For this has
been the way of the IFP for the past 35 years. We know that South
Africa is no longer on a learning curve. After seventeen years,
there are just some things our Government should already know.
Corruption is taking its toll and arrogance comes at a cost. The
price of our leaders' arrogance is being paid by our citizens. It is
too high a cost.
I call on our citizens to be introspective as we
cast our votes on the 18th of May. Let us consider the true state of
our nation. Let us consider the objectives enshrined in our
Constitution and whether we have achieved democracy, or are still
pursuing it. I believe we still have a long road to walk before we
can say that we have arrived at a point where liberty, democracy and
equality underpin not only the policies, but the actions of our
The IFP is committed to walking this road. We do
so hand in hand with the people of South Africa. We know that this
election is about you.
We know that a strong IFP depends on you. The IFP
is fighting your cause because we are on the side of the people. I
ask you to strengthen our fight by supporting us on May the 18th.
It now gives me great pleasure to take a pledge as
the President of the Inkatha Freedom Party for the 2011 Local
Together with you, I will hold IFP councillors
accountable for their actions. I will insist on the highest
standards of good governance, of ethical behaviour and of
responsiveness to the community. My Party will strictly enforce this
and we will fire those who fail to comply.
I will hold every one of our councillors to their
commitment of being a person of integrity; who is open with you,
fair with you and includes you in decision-making. We will ensure
that our councillors are accountable to you and insist that they are
available at all times. We will take your concerns seriously and
treat you with dignity and respect. I pledge the IFP to work for you
and with you, for the IFP knows it is all about you.
I thank you.