PRESS CONFERENCE ANNOUNCING
Durban : November 3, 2000
Today a new chapter is opening in the history of Durban. We are here to launch a campaign which intends to turn this city into a dynamo of development. With the introduction of the new local government system, the city of Durban will be profoundly changed. It will be bigger, and the IFP intends to ensure that it will be better. The IFP has always maintained a vision of governance in which the progress and prosperity of one, is the progress and prosperity of all. Our philosophy of government is based on striving towards development, growth and upliftment, to constantly increase upon the social and economic basis of our communities.
It is essential that the new system of local government coming into effect in Durban after December 5th begins in the right direction and remains aimed in the right direction. We believe that local governmentís first priority should be development, development and development. Now more than ever, the IFP is leading the struggle for development. We have driven this struggle in our communities since our inception in 1975 and now we are ready to take it further in Durban and across South Africa. We have achieved full political franchise and established democracy in this country, but the liberation struggle is far from complete. The job is far from done and we need the strength and integrity of the IFP to complete it.
The struggle for liberation is about liberating people from need and social injustice, and building a better quality of life for all, not about giving political offices to a few. If we were to believe a few at the top we would have to say that everything in South Africa is coming up roses. The truth is that too much is going wrong for us to proclaim freedom. Too many people remain enslaved by poverty, unemployment and ignorance for lack of education and exposure. Too many people are suffering. Too many of us are victims of crime or live under constant fear. Under these conditions, we cannot yet declare ourselves free.
The IFP is calling on the people of South Africa to form a partnership with our candidates which begins now and runs throughout the life of the next local government. By voting for our candidates, a partnership is being forged for development, development and development, so that together the IFP and the communities of South Africa can continue to move the struggle forward. We need development to create jobs. We need development to stop the rising inflation and the constant lowering of living standards. We need development to bring essential services to people who suffer the hardship and injustice of having no electricity, or running water, or shelter, or sanitation or even basic health-care. We need development to fight crime at its root.
This election should be about empowering a new class of servants of the people and revolutionaries of goodwill who will dedicate themselves to the job of local government, ensuring that, through development, the life of all may be substantially improved. We need better services, at lower prices, in an environment with less crime and more jobs. This election is about getting the job of local government done and directing local government functions towards development. The IFP has a 25-year track record of working within communities to promote development. We were born within communities and we grew as our communities grew. We never abandoned our communities, we never felt that we outgrew them, nor have we ever felt that we did not belong to them. The IFP is the community force which can make development work.
Durban is one of Africaís great cities, with a unique track record. It is prosperous and has unparalleled potentials for growth. We need to capture these growth potentials to meet the needs of Durbanís people, creating an over-arching degree of security. Through growth and development, Durban must become wholly committed to eradicating poverty and crime. Local government in Durban can become an instrument of this growth. To this end, the future local government will need to direct its policies, resources and emphasis towards growth and development much more than it has until now.
We need to build more roads and increase infrastructure. It is not sufficient to keep what we have and run the city on the basis of mere maintenance. What we have is insufficient for many of us and will soon become inadequate for all of us. The business of Durban must be growth, development and upliftment. The IFP is the leader of this business. For this reason, we have seriously considered our list of candidates and selected the best people for the job. We have selected our candidates for their capacity to work hard and remain in constant dialogue with the people. We believe that candidates for local government should work hard in their offices, going through files, plans and projects, but should work equally hard among the people, discussing, listening and pursuing consensus for development.
In this province, the IFP has set the pace of an administration more dedicated to government than to public relations operations. Our political representatives are people who work hard every day, doing what it takes to make a difference for our people, minute by minute, file by file, during long hours of dedicated work, evaluating options and giving informed and competent leadership. The difference is made when political representatives have the capacity to be leaders. Crime and poverty are fought with this type of committed and hard-working leadership.
Being elected does not make one a leader. Leaders are those who can drive progress on the basis of a clear vision for development. Leaders are those who can convince and motivate, not on the basis of rhetoric or propaganda, but because of sound arguments which make sense for all those who live in this city. Local government is about real bread-and-butter issues. We need real bread-and-butter people to make it succeed. The IFP knows this truth better than anybody else. We have not picked our candidates from fashionable political circles. We have not picked them from among the arm-chair intellectuals who have never dirtied their hands by working in communities and with communities. The IFP has selected its candidates because of their hands-on approach to development issues, community leadership and sound governance.
It is a pleasure for me to announce Dr GPJ Ndlela as the IFPís candidate mayor who will head our struggle for development in the city of Durban. Dr Ndlela has what it takes to run a clean and efficient government dedicated to development and growth. He has proven himself a good administrator as the headmaster of a school that had serious problems until he came in and turned it around for the better. The IFP is confident that he is the man who can get the job done. He is an educated, disciplined man who long ago learnt the culture of service and dedication. Dr Ndlela is dedicating himself to lead his team to get the job done.
The IFP fought long and hard to ensure that the city of Durban would not have an executive mayor, but could be governed by an executive committee. This was done to ensure that the good governance of the city of Durban may rely on and benefit from the broadest possible range of contributions which all councillors can make. Therefore, on my instruction, Dr Ndlela's team will consist of anyone who is willing to contribute to the governance of Durban. The IFP is an all-inclusive party which has always brought people of goodwill together. We believe in the spirit and the practice of the revolution of goodwill, recognising that across existing social, economic and political divides people can and must work together, grow together and, together, develop a better future.
For the past twenty-five years, the IFP has proven its leadership capacity in bringing people together in this province. From the days of the Buthelezi Commission of 1980 to those of the KwaZulu Natal Indaba of 1986, all the way into the present provincial government, the IFP has proven that this province belongs to all its citizens and must be governed with the inputs and contribution of all. We are the only party with the unique capacity for being a catalyst of consensus and the promoter of goodwill in this province and in this city.
An IFP victory is important for Durban to place development firmly on the agenda for governance. With local government we are starting a new chapter which offers the opportunity of a new beginning. Here is where we can stop crime, fight poverty, create employment and turn the country around from the bottom up. We need to avoid replicating the mistakes made at the central level of government. We need to change policies and direction from our communities up. Unless the IFP is strengthened, local government will simply suffer the same deficiencies, lack of delivery and insufficient focus on development which has characterised governance over the past six years. We cannot afford more of the same.
The province of KwaZulu Natal has developed an unparalleled track record of delivery, good performance and clean administration, even with less resources than any other province and the enormous backlog of problems and needs. We have done well, but we could have done better had we been stronger. In fact, I believe that we are the best part of any formula of governance and the stronger the IFP, the better the governance at any level.
The IFP is not campaigning on the basis of slogans or empty promises, but on the basis of a comprehensive development programme which must emerge in the dialogue between our candidates and their constituencies. We have adopted a Charter for Development to guide this dialogue and enable people to focus on how they would wish their community to change and improve. We are not coming with prepacked answers, but are posing questions so that we can receive a mandate to bring the peopleís answers into local government.
Our campaign is about people and promoting dialogue on the ground, at grassroots level. We are not about dropping flyers in post boxes. Our election campaign is run by real people, reaching out to real people. We intend to begin a process of consultation based on dialogue and community interaction which starts now and will continue throughout the next five years.
We are not campaigning just for forty days until election date to become silent and absent immediately afterwards. There are political parties which are doing just that. We are campaigning to make ourselves visible to ensure that our promise of development is fulfilled through the joining of our elected candidates and their voters into a single force for development, working together to make development happen.
The IFP will ensure that the dialogue which commences during elections will continue and grow stronger after elections. It is this dialogue which will ensure that our elected candidates become and remain what they are supposed to be, namely the servants of the people who elected them. I, myself, will stand behind this promise and ensure that any elected candidate who does not prove his or her worth will have a short career with the Inkatha Freedom Party. We are dedicated to results and hard work in the service of the people, and those who are looking for a free ride should have long understood that they should rather hitch with a different Party. The message has gone out that the IFP gives no free rides.
The IFP has never engaged in the policy and politics of empty promises. We do not ask people to support us by promising that which we cannot deliver. We are asking people to support our candidates so that together we can work on delivering what the people need. Together we can make Durban the greatest metropolis on our continent, promoting the correct development potential it has. We can do so for all, especially for the poorest of the poor. I have spent my life among these people and have never forgotten them because I have never left them.
Development is the only fast track towards solving the problems which affect our poorest communities. We need small and big developments alike. We need roads and services in squatters camps. We need to create production capacity, marketers and businesses in poor townships. We need to create incentives for small businesses. We need to stop those who are constantly harassing our communities and taking from the poor the little they have with unreasonably high prices and racketeering practices. The new local government must finally be able to police and remove social predators. Enough is enough. Corruption and violence in communities have been neglected for too long by the city of Durban. Intimidation by street committees, police brutality, high prices maintained through illegal rackets and any type of violence and crime must now be stopped by a new local government willing to apply the law equally and to the full.
We must also promote large development projects. The IFP has long been committed to the new airport at La Lucia which has been an idea the IFP generated, promoted and nourished all the way. We are committed to developing the waterfront to enhance the tourism potential of Durban. All these projects were first announced by IFP Premier Dr Frank Mdlalose and have since been constantly supported and promoted by all IFP Premiers.
We are committed to assisting in the strengthening of the harbour capacity of Durban. For this reason, we continue to support the idea of a free port. This is not a new idea, but was expressed in 1992 in the Constitution of KwaZulu Natal, and even before that in the KwaZulu Natal Indaba. This clearly shows the commitment of the IFP to promoting real development and growth through free market based solutions.
Furthermore, we are committed to preventing urban decay in the centre of Durban, which we shall never allow to go the way downtown Johannesburg and Pretoria have gone. Unless the IFP is stronger in Durban, our city may follow the same bleak destiny which has befallen those without the benefit of a strong IFP. The IFPís willingness to uphold and promote law, order, social discipline and responsibility is what makes the difference.
We are also committed to bringing the development of Durban into the areas which have thus far been forgotten or neglected. The growth of Durbanís development must reach into squatter camps and townships. We need to take care of rural areas and ensure that Durban can make equal promises to all its citizens. The IFP is uniquely qualified to do so because our vision is in development, and we have long understood the value of economic growth, law and order, and free market enterprise. Above all, our heart is with the communities of Durban.
The campaign to make Durban a better place begins here and it begins today. From here it goes into the communities, door to door, in work-places and anywhere anyone is interested in making a contribution to creating a better city. The IFP campaign begins now and it will end in five years after we have served the people who elected us. On that day, we will be able to stand before the people of Durban, proud of our results. Now, we have set out on a long march to bring forward the struggle for development. A new chapter has been opened in our liberation struggle which calls for the IFP to once again be a leader of development, a leader of freedom, a leader of progress and a leader of people.
The IFP is here to lead because we wish to serve. I have dedicated my entire life to the service of the people and I know that on this occasion my Party will live up to the legacy which I bestow on it. May the struggle continue for a better future for all. May the IFP grow for the benefit of all. May God Almighty bless our efforts and shine His approval on the city of Durban.