IFP Rally in Qhudeni -
Nkandla Municipal District  

 

Address by
Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
President of the Inkatha Freedom Party
 

Qhudeni Sports Ground, Inkandla: 13 February 2010

 

Stepping up to this podium, I feel energized and full of hope. It is wonderful to be in Qhudeni because I feel that here I am among South Africans who not only understand the challenges of our nation, but have the wisdom to seek real solutions. The people of Qhudeni are IFP people, because you are people who face difficulties head-on with the spirit of self-help and self-reliance, and with the determination to create a better tomorrow.

 

I want to thank you for making your mark at the polling stations last year, ensuring that the IFP won at every station in Qhudeni Municipality. You have voiced your support for a party that has solid solutions, instead of empty promises. You have voiced your dissatisfaction with a provincial government that says it will do things and never does them. And with a unanimous voice, you have tasked the IFP with bringing change to this district.

 

In order to do that, the IFP is mobilizing our party structures to prepare for the Local Government Elections next year. Following national elections, we launched the Vukuzithathe Campaign to take back ground we had lost to leaders who promise our people the moon, and fail to deliver. The IFP lost support in last year's elections, but we still pose a credible challenge to those who are failing our people. We still have hundreds of thousands of South Africans backing us, and calling on us to make a change.

 

The need for change is echoing around our country, and is found here in Qhudeni as well. It is time for leaders to stop treating our people with disrespect, pacifying them with false promises and ignoring their dire needs. Right now the IFP has some 300 branches that are ready for inauguration and we must inaugurate them before the Party's Conference in May. There is evidence that we are growing in the right direction.

 

Some of the agents-provocateurs are saying that we should hold the general Conference without these more than 300 branches that have not yet been inaugurated. We have already inaugurated more than 700 branches, but the process has been very slow. And this is not peculiar to the IFP. Cope has the same problem, and the ANC has the same problem in the Western Cape which they previously controlled.

 

That brings me hope in a time where there seems little to hope for. I would encourage these new branches to familiarize themselves with the IFP's Constitution. Indeed, every one of us needs to read the Party's Constitution and to know what it says. How can you play a game of soccer if you don't know the rules of the game? If the players don't know which side their goalpost is on, or what would be considered a penalty, or where they should stand on the field, how can a team ever hope to win?

 

I relate this because recently there have been members of our Party who have created a public spectacle, acting in contravention of our Constitution. The Constitution is a set of rules that everyone agrees to abide by when they join the IFP. It is not arbitrarily changed and cannot be used to benefit one person while compromising another. The Constitution is in place to ensure that the Party is run according to democratic principles that enhance effective operation, discipline and success. Therefore, if a Party member contravenes the Constitution, our National Council has a responsibility to act to rectify the problem.

 

The hostility of the media towards me and the IFP is well documented in Dr Anthea Jeffrey's latest book "The People's War". When we have as a Party merely implemented the provisions of our Party's Constitution, the media has deliberately distorted this to present the National Council and the NEC, which are the final decision-making bodies of the Party, in a very negative light. We have seen brown envelope journalism at its worst. Money is flowing like water in carrying out these nefarious activities.

 

Our National Council is not aggressive or domineering. It simply acts in line with constitutional prescripts to ensure that the Party is not brought into disrepute. I don't think that those who have sullied the IFP's name by their irresponsible actions can honestly say they didn't know that what they were doing was wrong. The rules of conduct are clearly spelled out in our Constitution, and Party members have a responsibility to read it and abide by it. 

 

As we prepare for the coming Local Government Elections, I encourage all our branches to gain a good understanding of what benefits the Party and what hurts it. Those renegades who are pursuing a rift in the IFP are hurting our Party and hurting the people who voted for us. I stand before you as the IFP's President to set the record straight. There is only one IFP. There is only one cause; and that is the full liberation of South Africa's people from the bondage of poverty, indignity and despair.

 

I have been the leader of this Party for 35 years. For 35 years Inkatha has struggled and worked and sacrificed for liberation. We sought more than the political liberation of South Africans, and we therefore know that our struggle has not ended. We are not content to sit back and point to one date in April 1994 and ask South Africa to be satisfied with what we have achieved. We know that there are still many people who are suffering, even in our new democracy.

 

In Inkandla there are many people who face a daily struggle to put food on the table. There are many children who receive an inadequate education, and for whom the hope of tertiary studies is beyond reach. There are many people who walk too far to receive medical attention, or who cannot get to a clinic at all. There are too many people living in sub-adequate housing. The IFP is determined to change all these things, by working in partnership with the people.

 

I am incensed by leaders in the provincial government that see the same needs I see and tell the people that their problems will be solved overnight. The bad habit of making promises that cannot be kept is pervasive in South Africa's government. Prior to the 1994 elections, the ANC put up posters and rallied under banners that promised people housing and jobs, as though these things could be delivered on the 28th if people voted for them on the 27th.

 

The ANC had no experience in governance when it came into power. But it does not take great experience to know that it is impossible to provide millions of people with housing, electricity, sanitation, jobs and healthcare simply overnight. They knew they were making promises they could not keep, and they insulted the intelligence of South Africans by making such promises. It is an indictment on them that, some 16 years since they promised houses, there are people in Inkandla - and all over South Africa - who still have no proper home. The squatter camps around every city and town in South Africa speak volumes in this regard.

 

I know that you have been waiting for more than 6 years for the provincial government to build some 500 houses which were promised by MEC Mabuyakhulu.

In order to hide its failure to deliver, government is pointing a finger at land claims. But that is just not the reason why these houses haven't been built. The reason is slow delivery and broken promises. I have tasked the IFP's MPs and MPLs to chase this issue up with the Department of Human Settlements.

 

The IFP doesn't make empty promises. Before democracy, we gained years of experience in governance under even harsher conditions than the ANC government faces today. When I was Chief Minister of the erstwhile KwaZulu Government, we received a shoestring budget from the then apartheid government. It was not enough to meet the needs of all our people. It was not enough to build houses with, or schools or clinics. And yet, working with communities, we managed not only to build, but to establish a spirit of self-help and self-reliance that enabled communities to uplift themselves out of the cycle of poverty.

 

Many of you present here today are witnesses that we managed as the KwaZulu Government to build more than 6,000 schools through our Rand for Rand scheme. Our people, poor as they were, would pay a Rand and we as the KwaZulu Government also paid a Rand. We used the same system in building many other schools with the Indian religious group, the Divine Life Society.

 

We gained experience in good governance. Indeed, when the apartheid government eventually gave way to democracy, KwaZulu was the only provincial government able to hand over funds, even though we were allocated the smallest portion of the national budget. We could do this because we learnt to manage government finances effectively, but also because - in all the years of my leadership in that administration - there was never a hint of corruption. The present provincial government has a deficit of more than 3 billion Rand in the Health Department alone.

 

I think no one would have dared try to steal money from the people under my watch. I believe officials take their cue from their leader. If an administration is corrupt, the onus falls on the head to root out the problem and get rid of it. Moreover, a leader must set the finest example of honesty in all his dealings.

 

It is just unacceptable that the money which the MEC, Mr Mabuyakhulu, promised to pay to the cooperative started by Prince GL Zulu has never been paid into the cooperative's bank account. For lack of his promised two million Rand, this flagship community upliftment project has failed. Again, I task our IFP MPs and MPLs to follow this up with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

 

I feel the frustration here in Enkandla, because of the broken promises. But I also see a people of goodwill who still have a fighting spirit to see things turned around. The provincial government is insulting your intelligence when, after all these broken promises, it established Operation Mbo with a new promise to maximize service delivery to the poorest wards in KwaZulu Natal. Qhudeni was declared one of the 53 poorest wards and a number of households were identified to receive monthly food parcels. But it has been four months and not a single household has received a single food parcel.

 

For how long will the Premier and his government keep making empty promises in a ploy to win this ward over to the ANC? This is grossly irresponsible behaviour. We all know that South Africa is struggling. There is vast need and solutions need to be long-term. The IFP has never made empty promises.

We believe in working consistently, day in and day out, hand in hand with the people, towards a better future. We know that good governance requires honesty and integrity. We know that not enough has been done for the people of Enkandla, and we are determined to make sure that things change.

 

In order for the IFP to bring this change, we need the support of our people. We need to mobilize our Party structures to prepare for the Local Government Elections, to be sure that we are ready to take on this challenge and win. Only by strengthening support for the IFP can we strengthen the power of the IFP to make a difference. We need people we can trust to be entrusted with looking after the taxpayers' money.

 

The IFP has the know-how to govern well. We have experience in managing fiscal budgets and the humility to involve the people in their own governance. We have the integrity to stop the flow of money from valuable community upliftment projects to the pockets of a few corrupt officials. And instead of offering empty promises, we have the courage to say it's going to be a hard road ahead, but we are committed to staying the course until we get there.

 

Let us strengthen the IFP to make that change in Enkandla, and from here to make a change in all of South Africa. Let the time of broken promises end and the time of a revolution of goodwill begin. It starts with the IFP. It starts with you. It starts here.

 

I thank you.

 

 

Contact:
Liezl van der Merwe
082 729 2510