Seven Eleven Hall, Atlantis: 9 May 2011
Thank you for coming out this evening to meet with
the IFP. It is such a pleasure for me to be in this community as we
approach the Local Government Elections next week. I have been
campaigning for several weeks now, going all over KwaZulu Natal,
Mpumalanga and Gauteng, urging people to vote in these elections.
But coming to the Western Cape is something special for me, not only
because the political dynamic here is different, but because it is
here that I spend much of my time as a Member of Parliament.
The IFP has 18 representatives in Parliament, and
some 900 Councillors in municipalities across South Africa. We have
been engaged in South Africa's politics for more than three decades,
and we have influenced the face of our country both before and after
1994. We are not a new kid on the block. But still, some people
might not be familiar with the IFP, what it stands for and what it
believes in. I hope that through our interaction tonight, we can
start a dialogue that will change the way things are done in
Atlantis when it comes to service delivery, local governance and
I would like to invite you to listen and ask
questions, and to really ponder within your own mind whether the IFP
is the new voice Atlantis needs. We all know that in the Western
Cape it's a dog fight between the DA and the ANC. These two
heavyweights are fighting it out in the political arena, because
both want control over the Western Cape. For the ANC, it's a matter
of pride, because they hate not being dominant in every corner of
our country. For the DA, it's a matter of brinkmanship and keeping
the ANC's hands off of Cape Town.
But in the midst of this heated fight, I worry
that the people have been forgotten. I find it appalling that the
open toilet saga could go on for two years, with the DA installing
toilets and the Youth League ripping them up and this accusation and
that accusation flying all over the place, when really people just
needed a place to do their business hygienically and with a
dignified amount of privacy. Two years of fighting over a toilet.
That is the level politics has descended to.
So I believe that Atlantis, and many communities
in the Western Cape, are hoping that there is an alternative to just
having to choose between the incompetence of the ANC or the
arrogance of the DA. I am here to tell you, there is hope. There is
an alternative. I will not pretend that the IFP can take the Western
Cape from the DA, but I can tell you that by voting for the IFP in
Atlantis you will be strengthening a voice of integrity on your
local council that can influence the way things are done. Ms Nazlie
Daniels is standing in Atlantis because she knows the needs of this
community and she knows the power of the IFP. She knows we can get
The IFP has a formidable legacy in South Africa.
In KwaZulu Natal, we still run more municipalities than the ANC, and
we do it better than the ANC does. At local government level, where
services are actually delivered, people in KwaZulu Natal still want
an IFP leadership because they remember what we have achieved over
the past three decades, and they trust the IFP's impeccable track
record. There is a tremendous amount of good we did in the past,
even before 1994, and there is a tremendous amount of good we are
doing now in the municipalities in which our voice has been
When I come to Atlantis, my mind is taken back to
the foolish policies of the ANC even before we achieved liberation,
that have had a terrible impact on this community. In October 1976,
Mr Oliver Tambo, as the Acting President of the ANC, stood before
the United Nations General Assembly and called for international
sanctions against apartheid South Africa and foreign disinvestment.
It was a call I totally rejected, because I knew that the harshest
effects of sanctions would be suffered by the poor and oppressed,
not by the wealthy elite.
In response to the call for sanctions, the
apartheid government rallied to ensure it could become economically
self-sufficient, and one of the ways it did this was to create
Atlantis around the Atlantis Diesel Engine factory. The factory was
heavily subsidized by government, which enabled it to operate
successfully even 20 kilometres outside of Cape Town, and to offer
thousands of jobs to the community.
But soon after our political liberation, the new
government under the ANC abandoned ADE and withdrew government
contracts. The ANC effectively abandoned Atlantis. Even though their
own policies had forced the creation of ADE, the ANC would not take
responsibility for it once they came into power. I believe they
absconded from their responsibility of protecting jobs, and
protecting you - your income, your stability and the prosperity of
Atlantis. Almost a decade ago, ADE folded, and there are still many
unemployed people struggling along in this community.
This has created all kinds of social problems, as
unemployment always does. Those of you who have work are spending
too much of your income on travel expenses. In many homes, the
traditional family structure has been turned around because of
unemployment, with the wives bringing in most or all of the money. I
know that there are feelings of inadequacy and frustration that
cannot be addressed with staid political slogans like 'Working
together we can do more'. If we are going to get our able-bodied
youngsters into decent jobs, our children off the streets of Blaawberg, our families into decent houses with toilets and running
water; it is going to take more than a slogan, more than a campaign
and more than a dog fight over who gets to govern Cape Town.
Atlantis needs a new voice that can speak up on
its behalf and say what all of us are thinking. There are basic
needs in this community that should have been met decades ago. And
it is no good having councillors who say there is not enough money,
or there is too much red tape, to get things done in Atlantis. The
IFP knows how to do a lot with a little. In the small town of
Mzingazi in Uthungula District, where we receive practically no
income from rates and taxes, our municipality partnered with a
community project and got the learners of Sithole Nanhlanhla School
access to a library. We did it because we understand how important
education is and we are willing to work hard to live up to the
values we espouse.
Ms Daniels has come up with some excellent ideas,
that reflect the ideas of this community, and reflect the practical,
hands on, know-how of the IFP. She has suggested container clinics
to serve those in rural areas, because the geographic location of
Atlantis makes it difficult for people to access health services.
Once again, you are paying too much to get to a clinic, and there
just is no money to spend on transport and doctors' fees, when it is
already hard to put food on the table.
The IFP knows. We care. We have been working
alongside the poorest of the poor in KwaZulu Natal and throughout
South Africa since 1975. We have helped people to help themselves,
by empowering them with skills and developing their community. We
have partnered with people from all walks of life to do what it
takes to make a difference.
All our candidates in the coming local government
elections, including Ms Daniels, have taken a pledge of integrity
and responsiveness to the community. I intend to hold them
accountable for fulfilling that pledge. The IFP does not tolerate
slackers and freeloaders, because councillors who serve on an IFP
ticket are expected to work.
In terms of their pledge, you can expect your IFP
councillor to be a person of integrity, to be open with you, to be
fair and include you in decision-making, to be accountable to you
and available at all times. Our councillors take your concerns
seriously. We will treat you with dignity and respect, because we
are working for you and with you.
We believe in bringing municipal governance closer
to you. We will empower you to participate in decisions that are
made, by closely linking your councillors to you in their daily work.
We will never dictate to you. We live and work alongside you,
tackling the real problems together.
The IFP believes you have the right to receive any
information you require about your municipality and your council.
IFP led municipalities promote openness in all they do. We believe
that tenders should be public so that you know precisely who gets
how much for what service. The IFP believes that every Rand must be
spent in a way that improves your community and your municipality.
We are intent on stopping waste, mismanagement and corruption, while
prioritising spending on infrastructure and basic services, like
water and electricity.
These are the priorities of the IFP. I hope that
you will support Ms Nazlie Daniels as she works for you. She is
standing as your candidate in Atlantis because she cares for this
community and she knows that things can be much better. By voting
for Nazlie, you strengthen a new voice in your local council. You
strengthen a voice that is backed by decades of experience in local
government and a track record that puts other parties to shame.
Because the IFP is all about getting the job done. We are in it for
I thank you for receiving me and the IFP into
Atlantis tonight. It is good to be with people who care about their
future. Next Wednesday, when you go and vote, I hope that you will
empower a new voice in your local council to make a big change for
Atlantis. I hope that you will vote for the IFP.
Contact: Liezl van der Merwe, 082 729 2510.
Press Liaison Officer to Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP,