The Mangosuthu University of Technology: Umlazi: 6 August 2011
Today we meet almost two years after our last
meeting. A lot has happened since then and we should be grateful
that an opportunity has been granted to us to reflect on the past
and chart a clear and informed direction forward with renewed
leadership of honesty and integrity.
Today we meet to celebrate our survival after
intense attacks were launched against this Movement in the form of
the rogue activities of the then "Friends of VZ", who desperately
wanted to use SADESMO to further their dirty political agenda of
destroying the IFP, with the explicit help of the ANC.
I commend every single one of you for exercising
political resilience, honesty and integrity of the highest order
during those trying times.
Your exemplary discipline has ensured that SADESMO
lives another day.
You have done South Africa an eternal favour. The
continued existence of SADESMO is a national imperative.
On behalf of the IFP Youth Brigade I wish to
convey our most sincere appreciation to Cde Ntuthuko Majozi and his
entire leadership collective, from branches to provinces, to
national, for a job well done in leading this Movement. You have
proven beyond measure your genuine leadership strength, character
We must now bring those qualities to bear as we
consider some of the most pressing issues in our country.
Last week it was revealed in the Labour Force
Survey that unemployment in South Africa had risen once again, from
25% to 25.7% in the second quarter of 2011. The continued lack of
political will by the government to take unemployment seriously has
resulted in this latest crisis. This is completely unacceptable. It
is you that will bear the brunt of government's shortfalls. It is
the youth who are the victims of the continued failure to create
The reckless debate on nationalisation is adding
fuel to this fire that we ought to be putting out. It threatens the
prospects for stable business activity and undermines investor
confidence. The latest unemployment figures, coupled with this
unnecessary talk of nationalisation, make it difficult to chart a
clear direction forward in terms of job creation. We are faced with
great uncertainty about our future.
The ANC government is fast failing South Africans.
Their administration appears directionless and visionless. It is
distressing that the number of unemployed people has increased by
174 000 to 4.5 million people. If we do not act with necessary
speed, the patience and tolerance of the unemployed will regrettably
turn into something uncontrollable. We are teetering on the brink of
an unprecedented revolt, as frustration continues to mount. You can
smell the stench of dissatisfaction throughout the country.
South Africans need jobs, and they need them fast.
Government must create an environment for businesses and investors
to create jobs.
Government must also focus more on the development
and maintenance of infrastructure and the provision of basic
As SADESMO, our focus is on matters of education
to ensure that South Africa competes without compromise with
international standards. We need an education system and curriculum
that is responsive to the expectations of the job market. Education
in this country receives the largest percentage share of the budget
yet very little progress is being made to fully equip schools with
the necessary resources to improve our situation. Previously
disadvantaged schools are now presently disadvantaged. There is
great neglect of education in this country. I call upon you all to
step up to the task of improving education in South Africa.
It is my honour and privilege today to introduce
our keynote speaker.
In fact His Excellency Prince MG Buthelezi needs
no introduction. He is an iconic international statesman who has
served South Africa and the world for over fifty years. We are proud
to call him our leader and comrade. He is a committed servant of the
people. He is the anvil on which apartheid collapsed. He is a tried
and tested leader, who has stood and passed the test of time.
In April 2002, former President Nelson Mandela
said, "We have used every ammunition to destroy [Prince Buthelezi],
but we have failed.
And he is still there. He is a formidable
survivor. We cannot ignore him."
In June 2008, former President Thabo Mbeki said,
"In the years since he stopped serving in the national government, I
have made it a point to listen carefully to everything he says.
Constantly, I have marvelled at his wisdom and his deep concern to
sustain a value system that is critical to the survival of our
democracy. I was very pleased, when, yesterday, the Hon Essop Pahad
acknowledged Shenge's unfailing sense of courtesy. Even at my age,
this is a deeply human characteristic I must emulate successfully
from uMntwana wakwaPhindangene. Shenge, many thanks for everything
you have done for all of us."
Shenge is rightly an international statesman with
many accolades to his name. He has received numerous recognitions
for his selfless and distinguished service to South Africa and the
world, including -
- The King's Cross Award, awarded by HM King Zwelithini ka Bhekuzulu in 1989
- The Key to the City of Birmingham,
awarded by Alabama in 1989
- The Freedom of Ngwelezana, awarded by
Ngwelezana in 1988
- The Unity, Justice and Peace Award, from the
Inkatha Youth Brigade in 1988
- The Magna Award for Outstanding
Leadership, awarded by Hong Kong in 1988
- Honorary Freedom of the
City of Pinetown, awarded in 1986
- An Honorary LLD from Boston
University in 1986
- The Nadaraja Award by the Indian Academy of
South Africa in 1985
- Man of the Year, by Financial Mail in 1985
- Newsmaker of the Year, by the Pretoria Press Club in 1985
Honorary LLD from Tampa University, Florida in 1985
- Apostle of
Peace (Rastriya Pita) by Pandit Satyapal Sharma of India in 1983
- The George Meany Human Rights Award by The Council of Industrial
Organisation of the American
Federation of Labour, in 1982
French National Order of Merit in 1981 Honorary LLD from the
University of Cape Town in 1978
- Citation for Leadership by the
District of Columbia Council, United States of America, in 1976
Honorary LLD from the University of Zululand in 1976
Commander of the Star of Africa for Outstanding Leadership, by
President Tolbert of Liberia
- Newsmaker of the Year by the
South African Society of Journalists, in 1973
- Man of the Year, by
the Institute of Management Consultants of South Africa, in 1973,
- The Freedom of Zululand in 2005
I introduce to you His Excellency uMntwana
wakwaPhindangene, the President of the IFP, Member of Parliament,
Inkosi yeSizwe SakwaButhelezi, uNdunankulu kaZulu, Chairman of the
Zululand House of Traditional Leaders. I introduce to you The Man
You Can Trust.