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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Liezl van der Merwe
082 729 2510