Okhukho, Ward 4, Maphumulo: 13 October 2010
Induna Phuzukufa Mzobe; Councilor BZ Ndlovu;
Constituency Chairperson, Mr MJ Khathi; and members of the community
It is with a broken heart that I visit
Maphumulo today. One cannot begin to fathom the loss that this
community has suffered due to the recent devastating fire. A family
has lost their home and must now begin to rebuild from scratch. A
loss like this is difficult to recover from, and one could only hope
that the community can rally together to assist this family in
But I am only too aware of the poverty that
affects the community of Maphumulo and I realize that when one has
so little, giving is terribly difficult. I wish to commend all those
who have come from within and from outside this community to assist
with relief, in the form of temporary shelter and donations for
health hampers and food.
The effort we see today has been organized
by ordinary members of the IFP, together with our ward candidate, Mr
The IFP is not a rich political party. We
are not awash with money like the ANC. Moreover this is a
particularly difficult time in the economy of our country when we
are all having to tighten our belts and cut spending. But despite
our lack of resources, members of the IFP have raised money, even
from their own pockets, in order to give this small donation to the
community of Maphumulo.
We have done this because the IFP is the
Party of Goodwill. Since 1975, when I founded Inkatha, we have been
building relationships with our people and creating partnerships in
order to accomplish that which seems impossible. Our party has built
schools and houses and community centres and clinics, without the
benefit of generous international benefactors. We have done it by
joining hands with ordinary South Africans, and working hard.
The IFP knows its people well. We know your
needs. We know your challenges. We understand your circumstances.
Because we have never left South Africa to lead our people from
exile. During apartheid and during democracy, we have not led from a
distance, but have stayed in the trenches, in the fields and in the
communities where our people suffer the daily challenges of putting
food on the table, educating children and accessing medical care.
There are many young children in this
community and all of them are looking to the future in the hope of
something better. I share the pain of parents and caregivers, and
even older siblings, who are struggling to raise these children.
Years ago Government highlighted Maphumulo
as a high risk area for fires, and noted that the early warning
system is poor. Government response is poor, legislative frameworks
for risk management are poor and existing risk reduction measures
are poor. Fire remains an urgent risk priority requiring reduction
interventions. Yet little is done to prevent them.
One of the IFP's Members of Parliament has
assisted a former member of our staff to produce an innovative
paraffin stove, which could prevent the kind of fires that ravage
homes in rural areas and informal settlements. The stove has several
unique features, the most important of which is the fact that it is
fireproof. When the stove is tilted, even slightly, the flame
automatically extinguishes. This means that if it is accidently
tipped over, it cannot cause a fire.
The Minister of Energy has publically
announced the intention to distribute safe paraffin stoves, but
nothing has come of it. It is deeply frustrating to work against
government apathy and broken promises. In my experience, we achieve
far more when we partner with communities than when we wait for
The assistance the IFP brings today is an
expression of our commitment to partnering with Maphumulo. I wanted
to be here personally to thank you for your support for the IFP.
Your votes have ensured that the IFP won this ward, and we intend to
work hard to live up to your expectations. We have many years of
experience in governance and we believe in putting the needs of our
I know that some people have become confused
about the IFP's role in KwaZulu Natal and in South Africa, because
our country now has its first Zulu President, who is also the
President of the ANC. There are also rumours that our Party's
leadership is being challenged, and it is no secret that the ANC has
taken over some of the municipalities which were formerly run by the
But despite what you may have heard from
those who wish to see the IFP wiped off the map, the IFP is still a
strong political force. We received over 800 000 votes in the last
national election and we still have more than 500 Councillors
serving municipalities across South Africa. We have 18 members in
the national Parliament and are represented in the provincial
legislatures. Indeed, if we were on our last legs, no one would
bother starting rumours about us.
Many of us will recall the ugly chapter of
our country's past in which the ANC waged a low intensity civil war
against the IFP. In the eighties and early nineties, more than 20
000 black lives were lost; not in order to secure democracy, but in
an attempt to secure political domination for the ANC after
liberation. I and the IFP were vilified by the ANC-in-exile for many
years. Attempts were made on my life. Today the process of
reconciliation between our two parties still has some unfinished
The ANC wants to take control of every
corner of KwaZulu Natal and it cannot bear to see a strong IFP
gaining support among the people. But the IFP is strong and we are
preparing to contest next year's Local Government Elections. We have
every intention of winning Ilembe District Municipality in 2011. But
that will, of course, depend on how hard each one of us works to
garner that kind of support.
I mention these tensions with the ANC
because we stand just a few months away from the next Local
Government Elections and the campaign to win the hearts and minds,
and of course the votes, of the people have begun in earnest. You
are likely to hear all sorts of rumours in the coming months and you
may even see some token acts of service delivery on the part of the
ANC-led Government. But in all this I hope that you will remember my
visit and remember what I have to tell you today. Remember the
permanent structures such as schools, clinics and hospitals that we
built with so little.
My message is this; the IFP knows you and
the IFP cares. We have been building partnerships with communities
for more than 35 years. We are committed to raising the standard of
living for every South African.
We are fighting poverty. We are fighting
corruption. And we are fighting the lack of employment opportunities
that plague our people.
Everything the IFP does is in the service of
My heart goes out to the family that has
lost their home, and to the community that is struggling to support
them in this crisis. This disaster has served to highlight the
tremendous difficulties you face every day in Maphumulo. It is in
these daily challenges that the IFP seeks to assist.
I encourage you to seek solutions and
opportunities, and to approach your Councillors with ideas. For it
is only in partnership that we will achieve a better tomorrow.
May God bless this community and alleviate
the suffering of His people.