Mtubatuba: 16 April 2011
It gives me great pleasure to visit Mtubatuba this
morning. Yesterday I visited Mkuze, Hluhluwe and Mbazwana, and I
heard the same message from the people again and again. Our people
are seeking a leadership of integrity that is committed to genuine
service delivery. Our communities are ready to strengthen the hand
that serves, by voting for the IFP in the coming local government
elections. The IFP's track record speaks for itself and our
reputation precedes us.
But people are concerned about service delivery
issues. They are worried about the economy and about the state of
our country. But they are concerned first and foremost with the
immediate needs that confront us every day; like water, electricity,
housing, food security and unemployment. The IFP understands these
needs. We have worked in government for 35 years. We serve in the
national Parliament and we serve in the local community. I myself
have been appointed Acting President of South Africa on more than 20
occasions. But I haven't moved away from Mahlabathini and I haven't
lost touch with real people.
The Umkhanyakude District Municipality has invited
me to come to Mtubatuba to speak to you about the importance of
voting, and the importance of voting for the IFP. I am not going to
mince my words, because I believe that you deserve straight talk. In
some ways, local government elections carry greater consequences
than even national elections. For here, at local level, service
delivery actually takes place. It is here that you speak to your
government through your chosen representative, and it is here that
your municipality must empower your voice.
On the 18th of May, the power to decide the future
of Mtubatuba will be placed squarely where it belongs; in your
hands. The IFP intends to continue its partnership with you in the
coming five years, but we cannot serve without your mandate. We
cannot win without your vote.
The IFP knows, it's all about you.
The IFP has served the community of Mtubatuba for
more than three decades. We have stood with you hand in hand through
the struggles of our past, and the challenges of our country's
transition. You know the IFP and the IFP knows you. I thank God that
I can stand here today knowing that we have a strong and sound
But because we know each other and because we have
worked together for so many years, I will not skirt around the
issues or the problems facing Mtubatuba. Unlike the ANC, the IFP
does not pretend everything is rosy. And unlike the ANC, we do not
cover up problems with empty promises. We confront problems and
offer real solutions. This is why the IFP insists on a local
government that is open, efficient and works with you.
Local government is central to the development of
communities. In KwaZulu Natal, the IFP has had the opportunity to
prove that IFP led municipalities are better run than ANC led
municipalities. We still govern 32 municipalities in KwaZulu Natal,
which is more than the ANC. This is quite remarkable when one considers that
the ANC has almost unfettered power at the national level and has
been pursuing political hegemony since the seventies.
But at the coalface of governance, where services
are actually delivered, the people still want an IFP government,
because the IFP has a proven track record of delivery, integrity and
community partnership. We have not been corrupted by power. We do
not consider ourselves above the law. We don't bend the rules to
suit our agenda.
The IFP is still the party of integrity. We are
still working alongside our people in the everyday battles of
putting food on the table, educating our children, fighting crime,
finding employment and combating disease.
As the campaign for the local government elections
heats up, leaders of other parties may come to Mtubatuba and ask for
your vote. None of them will be able to point to their track record
of service delivery; they expect to get your vote just for doing
nothing. It is the IFP that has fought to empower local government.
It is the IFP that has stood up for traditional leadership. It is
the IFP that set up development projects and started community
gardens. It is the IFP that has worked for food security and
advocated subsistence farming.
The KwaZulu Finance Cooperation was established by
myself as Minister of Economic Affairs to promote development in
KwaZulu. The KFC
established the Ithala Bank under my leadership as the line-function
Minister. We established
it in order to enable our poorest people to access loans, to access
businesses and to develop the subsistence economy which then
existed. The formal
banking sector refused our people loans because they had nothing to
offer as security. But the IFP believes in self-help and
self-reliance, and we sought to empower our people to help
When the ANC took over this Province, they shut
down many of the beneficial projects we had established over the
years, simply because they were initiated by the IFP. Many training
colleges were shut down and development programmes were interrupted.
Corruption has crept in, to the extent that institutions like Ithala
Bank, which are supposed to empower the poorest of the poor, only
line the pockets of a few well-connected fat cats. The ANC also took
the focus off of food security.
When I travel throughout KwaZulu Natal today, I
worry about the fallow land I see and the families who are
struggling to buy food instead of growing it. Food prices are
skyrocketing and poverty is increasing. While I support the businesses that operate in Mtubatuba, I feel I must encourage our people to return to a degree
of self-sufficiency. Indeed, I would like to see local businesses
selling produce produced locally. I think that partnerships for
Mtubatuba's development should include local government, the
community and business.
A strong local government knows how to work with
the private sector, without overburdening it. I do not believe in
asking one level of society to finance another. When we attained
democracy in 1994 I warned that the economic pie had not suddenly
become bigger. We needed to learn how to redistribute South Africa's
resources while simultaneously growing our economy and acknowledging
that there is still not enough to satisfy every need. This is why
the IFP does not make empty promises.
We know that promising to create jobs and build
houses is meaningless if there is not enough money, competence or
political will to make it happen. The ANC President promised half a
million jobs in 2009, but by 2010 we had actually shed more than a
million jobs. The RDP houses that the ANC led government built are
falling apart because dodgy tenders were given to incompetent
contractors. Now more taxpayers'
money is needed to fix houses that cannot be used,
rather than build more houses for the many who are still waiting.
What the IFP does promise, it delivers. We promise
to bring municipal governance closer to you. We promise to empower
you to participate in decisions that are made, and to closely link
your councillors to you in their daily work. We don't dictate to
Mtubatuba from Pretoria. 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
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. We feel that any
potential conflict of interest between employees and councillors
should be made public. Every Rand must be spent in a way that
improves your community and municipality.
The IFP is therefore intent on stopping waste,
mismanagement and corruption. We prioritise spending on
infrastructure and basic services, like water and electricity.
The people of Mtubatuba know that the IFP put some
people here to lead your municipality because we put our trust
in them in 2006. You
know what shenanigans they got themselves involved in.
And when they defected to an unknown quantity such as the
National Freedom Party, it was clear that they had betrayed us and
had betrayed our trust.
This vindicated the Party in removing them from leading our IFP
Municipality. We were of
course aware for a long time of Mayor Swartz's connivance with our
former National Chairperson Mrs KaMagwaza-Msibi, who also lied to us
for a long time, that she had nothing to do with 'the friends of
VZ', when she knew deep down in her heart, that these were her
'storm troopers' whom she was financing with money from the ANC.
These are the important issues. These are the
issues that the IFP is talking about. The ANC, on the other hand, is
talking about party lists and who should be exalted to what
position. The ANC's election campaign has been riddled with disputes
over whether their candidates were chosen by the voters or by the
top brass of the Party. The community of Zandspruit has actually had
to resort to violent protest over an ANC councillor whom they believe
is not delivering. They have rejected her as their representative,
but she refuses to step down, because she has the backing of the ANC
This squabbling within the ANC over positions is
not just happening at local level. Right now there is an ongoing
debacle over an alleged takeover plot at the highest levels of the
ANC. Certain ANC leaders are being accused of plotting to oust
President Zuma. We saw how the Polokwane takeover in 2007 was
orchestrated from the start, ending in a split in the ANC. It seems
there is another takeover waiting in the wings, involving Minister
Tokyo Sexwale, who was the very ANC leader who fomented ructions in
the IFP last year.
When the elephants fight, it is the grass that
suffers. The ANC's infighting has taken its focus away from serving
our people. COPE, which was born from their infighting a few years
ago, has failed to take up the role it could have played in
opposition politics, for it too turned on itself in a dispute over
who should get to lead.
When the NFP was formed earlier this year, many
likened it to COPE and political analysts warned that its members
were likely to turn on each other as well, as they scrambled for
positions. Being launched so close to a municipal election, the NFP
is likely to see a fierce contest for positions, particularly
because many who have defected to the NFP from other parties have
done so on the basis of promises of positions, money and power.
Where people are power hungry, there are never enough positions to
satisfy every appetite.
Indeed the split in the IFP was created by people
who put power ahead of service, and forgot why they were in politics
to begin with. Some of our candidates did not make it into the
national parliament or provincial legislatures in 2009 and they
became disgruntled, feeling as though we owed them something. But
they didn't get in because they didn't work hard enough to bring the
IFP the support we needed. There are no free rides in the IFP. Our
councillors are made to work, and work hard.
These disgruntled, power-hungry people eventually
left to form the NFP, and I thank God they did. Unlike the ANC that
is turning on itself, and unlike the NFP that is untested and on
shaky ground, the IFP has regained its strength and unity and is
ready to stand on May 18th as the champion of the people. We are not
sidetracked by internal issues and we are not fighting to make a
name for ourselves. Our track record is known. Our reputation
precedes us. The IFP is focused on delivering good governance. We
are focused on you.
The similarities between the ANC and the NFP are
not coincidental. From the
start some leaders in the ANC bankrolled the split in our Party and
supported the formation of the NFP. They did this to gain power for
the ANC, because splitting the vote between the NFP and the IFP will
result in the ANC taking over our municipalities. We saw this during
by-elections when the NFP sent its independent candidates to Eshowe
and Umtshezi. They didn't win any support; but they gave our
municipalities to the ANC on a silver platter.
I therefore urge you not to split the vote. A vote
for the NFP is effectively a vote for the ANC. The only way to keep
this municipality in the hands of a leadership that is focused on
serving, is to vote for the Inkatha Freedom Party. Don't let yourself
be cheated out of the leadership you choose. If you vote NFP, you're
going to get ANC. The ANC knows this, while the NFP pretends it
As the IFP President, I come to you ready to give
you a reason to vote for the IFP. Our councillors have taken a pledge
of ethical behaviour, responsiveness to the community and adherence
to the highest standards of good governance. 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.
I encourage you to hold your councillor accountable
for fulfilling this pledge. The IFP intends to strictly enforce the
commitment our councillors have made, and we will fire those who fail
to comply. If you are unhappy about your councillor's behaviour, I
ask you to please call us on 031 365 1300 or write to the IFP. With
the IFP, you will never have to shout to be heard. Your voice is our
voice and we know it is all about you.
Yesterday the Independent Electoral Commission
opened another opportunity for you to make your voice heard. During
this election there will be a Special Vote, which allows anyone who
cannot vote on the 18th of May to cast their ballot on the 16th and
17th of May. The IEC will visit you at home if necessary, so that
you can cast your vote. This is for the elderly and ailing who
cannot stand in long queues. It is for heavily pregnant women and
people who will be working or travelling on election day. Anyone who
wants to make use of the Special Vote must register, as of today, at
their polling station. Registration closes on May the 3rd.
I encourage you to use this vote to ensure that
Mtubatuba will be served by a party that is willing and able to
deliver for the next five years. The IFP has served you for 35
years. We are not new to politics. We have experience in governance
and a track record that speaks of our integrity, competence and
vision. I ask you to partner with the IFP on the 18th of May just as
we have partnered with you.
Together, let us make Mtubatuba prosper. I thank