Meeting With The Community Of Camperdown
IFP Local Government Campaign Road Show
Address By Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
President Of The Inkatha Freedom Party

 

Camperdown: 25 April 2011

 

Thank you for welcoming the IFP to Camperdown. The enthusiasm with which you have received us today tells me that this community knows the IFP, and you have heard of our track record of service delivery.

Indeed, the IFP has been serving this province for 35 years. We led the administration of the erstwhile KwaZulu Government for some 18 years, and we have led KwaZulu Natal under democracy. Today we administer 32 municipalities across the province, still more than the ANC. We have something to offer that is worth talking about.

I have come to Camperdown to talk to you about the IFP alternative, but also to listen to the needs of this community. I want to know how we can serve you best. The IFP wants to partner with Camperdown to create a better municipality. After all, local governance is about your needs and your community. It is all about you. The coming election is therefore all about you. The IFP knows this. We are not here to dictate and demand your allegiance. We are here to offer you an alternative to the inadequate service delivery Camperdown has experienced in the past five years. We are here to bring you something better.

Across KwaZulu Natal, the IFP leads 32 municipalities. We have had the opportunity to prove that IFP led municipalities function better than municipalities controlled by the ANC. Our success is due to our governance philosophy that puts people first. It is also due to a strong work ethic and a determination to serve. In the IFP, no councillor gets a free ride. Our candidates are all expected to work hard, and they are all held accountable for their performance.

In fact, all our candidates for the local government elections have taken a pledge to uphold the IFP’s values of responsive leadership, integrity and efficiency. We believe in creating transparency in government. After all, your leaders are here to serve you, not dictate to you. You have the right to know who gets tenders and what contractors are earning. You have the right to know how positions are filled and why policy decisions are taken. Indeed, you have the right to get involved in the decision making process and to affect the outcome. Because local governance is all about you.

The IFP knows and respects your constitutional rights. We believe in genuine democracy in which the people choose their leaders, and the leaders serve their people. You can therefore expect an 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 councilors 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 councilors to you in their daily work. We will never dictate to Camperdown 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 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. We feel that any potential conflict of interest between employees and councilors 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.

For the IFP, these are not just empty promises made at election time. We have a 35 year track record of which we are very proud. Under apartheid, the IFP partnered with the people and together we built schools and houses and clinics. Not a Rand was wasted and not a single allegation of corruption was ever levelled against us. When voters choose the IFP, they are choosing a leadership that puts service first. We believe in empowering communities by strengthening local governance.

A vote for the IFP is a vote for a leadership that understands your daily struggle and knows how to help you. I therefore encourage you to consider, over the next few weeks, whether the status quo in Camperdown is sufficient, or whether you should be getting more for your vote. I believe that service delivery here has not been good enough or efficient enough. You deserve more and you deserve better. On the 18th of May, you have the opportunity to strengthen a new leadership in Camperdown that knows how to get the job done properly.

I urge you to vote on the 18th of May. Voter registration has now closed, but registration for the Special Vote remains open until the 3rd of May. If, for any reason, you will be unable to visit your polling station on the 18th, you can apply to cast our vote on the 16th or 17th of May. The Independent Electoral Commission will assist you, even in your home if necessary, so that you will be able to have your say. Don’t miss this opportunity. Come out and vote.

I challenge the community of Camperdown to seriously consider an alternative to the ANC. Nationwide, the only strong opposition to the ruling Party is the IFP. We are still the stumbling block in the way of their arrogance. We are the still the party that stands in the way of a one party state, political dominance, autocracy and maladministration. The IFP is the party of integrity. We serve in local government with excellence, and we want to serve you.

Your municipality should be able to deliver more. But throughout South Africa ANC led municipalities are suffering under the arrogance of a leadership that feels it has the right to dictate, simply because it has the power. South Africa is tired of the failures and embarrassments of the ruling elite. We are tired of hearing about fraud and corruption in government. We are tired of the well-connected being above the rule of law. We are tired of skyrocketing food prices, and the lack of assistance and support that struggling entrepreneurs and farmers receive from government.

I have voiced a concern over food security for many years. When I led the erstwhile KwaZulu Government, we emphasized self-help and self-reliance, and empowered subsistence farmers. This province was green and productive. Farms prospered and households were fed. We achieved this with the pathetic budget that the apartheid regime afforded KwaZulu, because we practiced sound financial management and zero tolerance for corruption. Today, whenever I travel through KwaZulu Natal, I see land lying fallow and people going hungry.

It worries me that the ruling Party has taken the emphasis off of food production, and is rather creating a welfare state in which some 14 million South Africans are dependent on social grants. Our economy cannot maintain this high demand and, like all welfare states, it will eventually collapse. This is not in the interests of our people. We need to ensure that child headed households have support, but that they are also assisted to rise above their present circumstances. Every child has the right to a proper education, not only those who are fortunate enough to have parents or money.

I am pained by the distress of our people. I know that you are ordinary people, fighting ordinary battles, under extraordinarily difficult circumstances. I believe you need assistance, and I believe your government owes you more than a hand out. It owes you honesty. You deserve to know that the ruling Party cannot deliver roads and houses and jobs at every election. Those are empty promises. But you also deserve to know that they can deliver more than what they actually deliver. The ANC can, and should, do more for the people they serve.

The problem is that the ANC has misunderstood the mandate to serve. They think that when you give them your vote, you are giving them unfettered power. That is not how democracy works. Your vote is your voice. It is your opportunity to change the way things are done in Camperdown. It is your time to say no to corruption, and yes to a leadership of integrity. The 18th of May is your moment; it is time to decide. I believe the IFP can offer Camperdown better local governance. Together we can create a more efficient municipality that works with you and for you, to give you more.

I intend to prove the worth of my Party through the work of our councilors over the next five years. I am willing to entrust my legacy to our candidates, because I believe they are the right people for the job. They have understood the mandate to serve and have agreed to put the interests of the people first. Just as I will hold them accountable, I ask you to hold your leaders accountable. The IFP will never ask for your vote and then disappear. If you strengthen us with your vote on the 18th of May, we will serve you with our strength until 2016. And throughout those five years we will constantly check that we are giving you what you want and what you deserve.

If you are unhappy with your IFP councillor, the IFP wants to hear about it. We are serious about holding our representatives accountable and we are not afraid to fire anyone who is not performing. We have a dedicated hotline you can call if your councilor is not delivering or is behaving in a way that does not uphold our values. We will take your call seriously and we will sort out the problem. It is unacceptable that South Africans have to put up with so much arrogance from officialdom. It is also unacceptable that some representatives hide behind their leadership.

The ANC’s election campaign has been riddled with disputes over candidate lists. Communities have complained that the candidates they chose have been removed from the ANC’s lists and replaced with leaders chosen by the party’s top brass. This is antithetical to democracy and exposes the depth of contempt the ANC has for governance of the people, by the people. The IFP seeks to see South Africa governed by South Africans, in partnership, from the ground up, through strong municipalities with tailor made service delivery plans.

It is about you; about building you a house, about educating your children, about fixing your roads, about giving you quality medical care, and helping you find employment that is sustainable and dignified. You should be the one to decide whether a clinic is being run properly, or if more teachers are needed in your area. You should be telling your representatives about electricity and water needs, and seeing those needs met.

The IFP has decided to focus its campaign in 2011 on you, because only through your participation and vigilance can local government succeed. We cannot govern effectively without listening to you, and finding out how to serve you best. I ask you to partner with a party that works hard and understands your needs. I ask you to strengthen the IFP.

On May the 18th, make your mark for a better alternative. Give Camperdown a leadership you can trust - vote for the IFP.

I thank you.