23RD ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE IFP YOUTH BRIGADE

ON THE THEME

FORGING A NEW GENERATION
WITH INTEGRITY AND COMMITMENT TO DEVELOPMENT


ADDRESS BY 
MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI, MP
PRESIDENT, INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY

ULUNDI : AUGUST 25, 2001

The Master of Ceremonies; the National Chairperson of the Youth Brigade, Mr MB Khawula; Pastor BMP Ngwenya, who conducted opening prayers; the National Chairman, Mr LPHM Mtshali; the Deputy National Chairman, Dr BS Ngubane; the General Secretary of Administration, Mr MZ Khumalo; members of the Royal House present and amaKhosi; the National Chairperson of the Women's Brigade, Mrs A Mchunu; the Chairperson Emeritus of the Youth Brigade, the Rev KM Zondi; Ministers of Religion present; members of the National Council; Members of the national Parliament; members of provincial Parliaments; Mayors, Councillors and Indunas present; delegates to this Conference, members of the IFP, my brothers and sisters.

The fact that most members of your generation are people who have been brought up after our political emancipation, indicates that you have grown up in a different world from that of people of my generation. Some of you know what apartheid is, and some of you grew up when the apartheid regime imposed Bantu education on us as people of colour. Some of your leaders, such as the Honourable Reverend Musa Zondi, and Mr Mntomuhle Khawula, know what apartheid was, and were involved in the liberation struggle with us as the older generation for more than a quarter of a century when we founded this organisation.

There are many of you who will be starting life with a clean new slate, not having known life before 1994. But even those of you who fall into that generation will not yet be able to say that they do not know what apartheid is, because we are even now experiencing the aftermath of the apartheid era. The consequences of apartheid and colonialism will be with us for quite a while. The fact that we have today a democratically elected government which is predominantly black, does not mean to say that we are not still struggling with the ravages of apartheid. Our attainment of political freedom is a great landmark of our times. And yet our people still suffer to the extent that they do not feel that they are truly free because of the grinding poverty that confronts them each day and each hour. The battle for fulfilment and for real freedom is now being fought on a completely different terrain which is the economic terrain. At the same time, the stage we have reached on our long journey to freedom has come with new challenges.

The South African landscape is vastly changed. The dynamics of a new millennium are in many ways no longer those of the past. While we celebrate a moving away from a history of human rights violations, political injustice and social oppression, we must be cautious in knowing what we are moving towards. The future belongs to a new generation who must be prepared to defend the ground we have gained and to fight with integrity to take us further. The new generation is unlike any that has come before. It enters a world unparalleled in human history, often without clear precedents. We cannot speak to this generation the way we did to the last. Much has changed. But the IFP has moved in rhythm with the changes and now the IFP speaks with a new voice. It is the voice of a new generation, a generation of integrity and commitment to development.

Unlike the youth of yesteryear, the youth of South Africa today speak with a different voice and look with different eyes towards where we are going and where we have been as a country. Throughout my life, whenever I have spoken to young people, just beyond their words a resonant chord vibrates that is the same time and again. It is the sound of vision, of reaching beyond limitations and pushing back barriers. I feel that every young person instinctively knows where the boundaries lie, for it is always at the boundaries that one will find young people. Within the complex process of maturing, there is a need to explore limitations, whether set by parents, by society or by self. A boundary will define what is safe and what is harmful, what is known and what remains as yet unexplored, what is acceptable and what is not, even what is lawful, or a crime. Without boundaries, we can have no concept of social justice, democracy, peace or stability.

Inherent in the aftermath of liberation euphoria lies the dangerous inclination to move from one extreme to another, from restrictive limitations to unchecked licence, from excessive structural rigidity to a complete lack of structure, and from immersion in politics to political apathy, and from the patriotic ideal of one for all, to the solipsist entitlement syndrome of all for one. Let us not fool ourselves into believing that nothing could be destructive to our fragile new democracy now that apartheid is destroyed. Something of the excess danger can be seen in many aspects of our society and it seems that even legitimate boundaries no longer command the recognition or respect necessary for a society to prosper.

It is essential that we forge a new generation with respect for the boundaries of law, justice and morality, with a sound sense of individual and collective responsibility, and the integrity to become actively involved in preserving and promoting responsibility. In the end, if no one takes responsibility for developing our communities, community development will not happen. If no one takes responsibility for electing good leaders and demanding good leadership, politics will be just a dirty game. If no one takes responsibility for changing the hearts and minds of our people towards a culture of respect for legal rights, property and life, the culture of criminality will prevail. The effect of chiselling away at responsibility is moral degeneration. I believe that a new generation must have integrity and commitment in order to set our course towards development, stability, reconciliation, prosperity and genuine freedom from intolerable standards of life.

This is a difficult task even under very normal circumstances. Here in South Africa these are some of the strategies that were employed during the liberation struggle which have had serious consequences for our young people. When people complain about the fact that there is no longer a culture of learning in our schools, I am surprised that they are at all surprised by this. After all, part of our liberation movements came up with such slogans as "Liberation now Education later". There was therefore a whole generation which was encouraged not to learn in schools but to think only of the armed struggle. The efforts by the previous regime to foist Bantu education on our people resulted in the uprisings of 1976. I am one of those who warned the then Prime Minister, Mr BJ Vorster, and his Deputy Minister of Bantu Education, Dr Andries Treurnicht, that forcing children to use Afrikaans as a second medium of instruction, would result in violence, and our warnings were not heeded. When the South African Police started shooting our children, they answered with the only thing they could get their hands on, which was stone-throwing. While this was a gallant resistance by our youth, some adults wanted to use young people as canon fodder by encouraging them to pit themselves against police saracens and other arsenals.

I remember a very prominent clergyman who came out preaching that our youth should continue using these methods as a strategy for liberation. He said that one stone thrown by one child was worth more than ten of his sermons. Here in KwaZulu as it then was under the erstwhile KwaZulu Government, we realised that we needed to protect our youth from becoming anarchists. We started a subject called good citizenship, Ubuntu-Botho. This was our effort to counter the gospel of lawlessness that was preached at that time and which was inculcated into our youth. When some of us did not agree with this strategy, we were called "traitors", "sell-outs" and worse. This paved the way for the war of attrition which followed, which resulted in the death of more than 20,000 black people at the hands of other black people. Young people were encouraged to kill policemen and to kill whites and steal their guns, in order to arm themselves for the armed struggle. Other formations of the liberation movement came up with slogans such as "kill the Boer, kill the farmer."

I paint this picture in speaking about the challenges that the new generation face to encourage you to build a foundation of law, order, justice and morality, and to indicate that your job is even more difficult because of this background which is still very much with us. The killing of people because of their political affiliations is a dark chapter in our struggle for liberation. I am speaking here about the past and yet this is very much the present when we think of some of our young leaders who are still dying for their political convictions such as the late Mayor of Nongoma, Mr Joseph Sikhonde, and many other young people, including one of our youth leaders in Mandeni, Mr Khuzwayo, and Mr Justice Khuzwayo who was killed on May 29, 2001. This is a culture in the midst of which we are asking you to halt the degeneration in our society, and to bring back the morality that was the bed-rock of African society, and of our South African society in general, for many generations.

It is therefore not surprising that the clearest example of degeneration which affects every aspect of our struggle for genuine liberation is law and order. Operating in a culture of entitlement, within circumstances where rights are given precedence over responsibility, too many South Africans are accepting crime as a viable activity. Often a community knows what is happening and who the culprits are, but nothing is said. Under the cover of silence, cars are stolen, houses broken into, drugs are bought and sold, weapons circulate, women are raped, hijackings happen, and lives are lost. These things happen often in broad daylight. The whispering in communities tells us that people are scared and feel the police ill-equipped or ill-inclined to deal with the issues. Crime talk has become our national pastime. Unwittingly, we are generating acceptability and breeding tolerance. Left unchecked, this will destroy South Africa. We need a new generation tough enough to tackle this issue head on, meeting apathetic acceptance with passionate intolerance.

I believe that the best medicine when things begin to fall apart is a zero-tolerance generation. It is not just about taking a personal stand, but about mobilising every young person to take up the same position of integrity, saying no to criminality, no to drugs, no to alcohol abuse, no to irresponsible sexual behaviour, no to hatred and ignorance and superstition. I speak to each individual when I say, make an investment in your own future. Expand your personal horizons of knowledge and information. Reach out for those different to you, embracing a different perspective and a new way of thinking. This generation must be a thinking generation. You must be able to make up your own mind and map your own path, and do so with the maturity to acknowledge your role within your community. Eschew the habit of doing things that you know very well are wrong merely because your peer next door is doing them.

No man is an island. What you say and do affects those around you. Your own responsible action speaks to others about taking responsibility. Your integrity and commitment to being involved motivates others to take a stand and make a difference. I challenge every young person to use the wealth of information flooding our world to equip themselves to be agents of change. There is no reason in a world so advanced as ours is today, that a young person is unable to access the facts about anything, if they are willing to try. For instance, any young person who says that they did not know that abstinence and faithfulness to one's partner before and after marriage are ideals which are worth aspiring to, or that unprotected sex can give you AIDS if you succumb to temptation, has simply not been paying attention. All of us have only one life and this is worth emphasising in the times in which we are living. This is not a world of second chances. Ignorance cannot protect you from AIDS. This generation must be aware, listening, alert and informed, and, more than all this, this generation must care.

I have always been proud of the youth of the Inkatha Freedom Party. Those who join the IFP Youth Brigade are those who wish to make a difference and become involved in how our country is run and how we progress towards development. The IFP youth have always been a breed apart, and I have watched with great expectation as year after year they mature and make their presence known in this Party. The time has come for the IFP Youth Brigade to make its presence known in South Africa. We need to communicate the fact that there is a home of political mobilisation for young people with the passion to lead, influence and help. The IFP has been the home of the people of goodwill since its inception.

The Youth Brigade is the natural seedbed for tomorrow’s leaders in politics, business, medicine, education and law. Indeed, the National Chairperson Emeritus, the Rev Musa Zondi, is today a Deputy Minister of a national Ministry in President Mbeki's government. Your National Chairperson, Mr Mntomuhle Khawula, is today the Chairperson of Ugu District Municipality, and his Deputy, Miss Zanele Magwaza, is the Chairperson of the Zululand District Municipality. And many of your leaders are in municipalities and some in the national Parliament, and some in the provincial Parliaments. It is the quality of the leadership that you give in these positions which should distinguish young IFP leaders from others. Our theme for this Conference is: "Forging a new Generation with Integrity and Commitment to Development." Integrity should be the hallmark that distinguishes young IFP leaders. In a world in which we live where solipsism is the philosophy of many leaders, our leaders should be distinguished by their altruism and dedication in the service of others, and in the service of the Nation.

The IFP is not just interested in the politics of power, but in all the issues which drive our country closer to development, reconciliation and prosperity. We are interested in education, in so far as illiteracy, innumeracy and ignorance will hold back the growth of South Africa’s human resources, collapse our hopes for economic growth and obstruct true reconciliation. We are interested in medicine and health-care to see a nation set free from the tragedy of disease, malnutrition, weakness and dependency. In South Africa, the issues are vast and numerous, and the IFP cares about the issues. We have never been a party of mudslingers and back-biters. We know the real work of politics is to be done in communities, on the ground, among the people, not in the media with fancy rhetoric or behind closed doors in Cape Town or Pretoria.

As a Party we have eschewed the politics of mudslinging. There are organisations whose leaders were judged on the basis of their ability to swear at leaders of other Parties. The ability to throw pejoratives at other leaders was regarded as a qualification for a good leader. That has not been our standard in the IFP. While we reserve the right to defend ourselves with all the powers at our command, we have never aspired to be the best in disparaging others, or other organisations, just for the sake of it. People will follow us on the basis of our record in their service, not on the basis of vilifying others.

With 26 years of experience on the ground, where it matters, the IFP espouses basic and common sense notions for community development, prosperity, stability and growth. We have taught the twin pillars of self-help and self-reliance for 26 years. We have backed development, development, development for 26 years. We have championed education for 26 years. For 26 years, we have kept the ball rolling for a revolution of goodwill to arouse the strength of our people to turn the tide around. Throughout this time, the IFP Youth Brigade has marched at the centre of this Party, mobilising young people to take up the challenge of rebuilding South Africa the IFP way, through development, education and goodwill.

Now more than ever, South Africa needs the IFP and the IFP needs the Youth Brigade. If we are to impact South Africa and halt its demise into greater poverty, increased criminality, unemployment and despair, we must aspire to make the 2004 national elections an all-out IFP victory. A large percentage of the voting population is under 25 and a vast number of new voters will have emerged within the next three years. The youth vote has the potential to change the face of politics. It must be a vote for the IFP. A vote for the IFP is a vote for integrity, and a vote for development. For every young person who joins the IFP Youth Brigade, the fight for our future is strengthened.

A great challenge lies before the youth of our Party to begin to mobilise support on a scale never tried before. We want to mobilise an entire generation, lighting fires of political enthusiasm and revolutionary commitment. The task that lies ahead is that of forging a new generation of integrity and commitment to development. We need to draw them into the IFP because this will be their natural political home. I just don’t want to see talented, committed young people absorbed by other political parties where they may never have the opportunity to make a difference for our country. Young people must learn to distinguish between criticism and influence in politics, recognising that the amount of power a party has to influence government and actually govern, is of far greater significance than the amount of criticism it puts forth. Parties which estimate their own value by how much they criticise government are not the place for responsible young people who have a contribution to make. I am not saying that you should not criticise government. You have to, but it cannot be your sole mission in life.

The value of the IFP is in its ability to lead and shape our country’s governance. We not only have the capacity for leadership which other parties severely lack, but the influence to make a difference in our present government. The IFP shares in a co-operative government because we are a recognised force for good in South Africa with a ready contribution of moral leadership, courage, vision and experience. We are not on the sidelines making noises with no substance. We are in the thick of it making a difference for good governance. Without the contribution and influence of the IFP, many good policies of government would have been compromised or wholly crushed beneath the weight of the ANC’s alliance partners. The IFP only works with those who share our vision for a prosperous and constantly developing South Africa. We will not be held back by the selfish interests of others, and we will not compromise on good leadership for fear of stepping on toes. The IFP elephant has no fear of stepping on toes. Pursuing the best possible future for South Africa does not leave space for quiet diplomacy or a lack of action or the absence of political will. This is why the IFP is the answer to South Africa’s cry for a leadership of integrity and leaders who can lead.

This generation of young South Africans must be empowered to make a difference. We cannot allow them to be absorbed into the pointless circle of opposition politics, where there is not enough power to make a difference and not enough will to propose solutions rather than merely criticise. Neither can we allow them to be lured by a seeming monolith of political power, which in truth is as stationary as a monolith, being unable to move forward under the weight of undue influence pulling in opposite directions, and lacking the integrity to make a firm commitment either way. The IFP is bold. We have the political will to change our future. We are the Party of change and we can make change happen. We have the integrity of leadership to take the reins and lead. We have solutions. We have vision. We have the courage to move. And we believe the energy of South Africa’s youth should be infused in a party where it can actually make a difference. That is the IFP.

The IFP Youth Brigade has never been a day-care centre. We respect young people for the contribution they can make, the ideas they have, their capacity for leadership and their depth of enthusiasm for getting the job done. It is for this reason that we have changed the IFP Constitution to open the way for the Youth Brigade to begin developing its own programmes. We aim to bring the energy of our youth into branch activities and facilitate greater involvement, activity, initiative and mobilisation at community level. The challenge of the Youth Brigade in 2001 is to begin organising the Party on a functional basis, rather than a purely territorial basis.

We need to engage the issues, forming project teams to look at how we are dealing with HIV/AIDS and how we can do more in the fight against this disease. Teams can be established to look at issues such as youth development, crime prevention, substance abuse, community involvement, the role of youth in reconciliation, health-care issues, education, job creation and entrepreneurial activities, mobilising support, skills training and countless areas of importance to the youth of this country. We need to get people talking and let them know that the IFP cares about these issues. We are the only party whose focus is squarely on issues. That makes us the best option for government after 2004.

I am still young, not only at heart, but in my thinking, in my vision and resolve. I was raised with a constant sense of the responsibilities which would become mine as I came of age. I grew up hearing all about my people and our rich cultural history from my mother, Princess Constance Magogo ka Dinuzulu. I became Acting Chief of the Buthelezi Clan in Mahlabathini at the age of 24 and five years later took up my role as Inkosi, which I continue to hold today. I was very young to assume such responsibility, yet I was prepared by my family and by a heritage that bestowed on me a role of leadership. My life was no different to the life of any young person growing up in South Africa. I truly believe that every young person should receive the preparation for leadership which echoes from family as we are taught the ways of our people, from community as we find ourselves to be active agents within a broader context, and from a heritage which speaks to every South African about the need for commitment to our future, the need for change in the present and the need to build on our victories of the past.

Every young South African has the capacity to become an agent of change and a revolutionary of goodwill. I believe that our youth have a greater capacity for bringing reconciliation and healing within our nation. In a few days, Durban will be hosting the World Conference Against Racism which will highlight once again the depth of trauma to human relationships which characterises our country’s turbulent past. This will also be an opportunity to recommit ourselves to overcoming the legacy of the past and finally breaking the back of racism, division, suspicions and mistrust which quietly lie just below the surface of our seeming victory. South Africa has overcome racial division and discrimination in our Constitution and in the full body of law. But until we completely transform the hearts and minds of ordinary people, our efforts at nation-building will be disrupted.

The IFP Youth Brigade is in a unique position to speak to the next generation and determine how they will handle the differences which will always characterise our richly variegated society. I encourage our youth to speak with the voice of the IFP which has always sounded a call for pluralism and pride in cultural diversity. We know that our diversity is indeed our strength and it is time for the youth of South Africa to begin mustering such strength by reaching out and learning what each distinct community has to offer. The IFP Youth Brigade can lead the way into a future of greater unity across the lines of colour, culture, language and belief. It will take many different hands to build a new South Africa. This Party welcomes every hand extended in goodwill.

When I look around at functions such as the June 16 rallies, it breaks my heart to see that this Nation of ours is not yet integrated as one people in one land. When I look around even at a Conference like this and see so few youth of other race groups who comprise our Nation, I realise just how far we still have to go before we become one Nation sharing one common patriotism.

This is a challenge to you in the IFP. There is nothing that bores me more than people who milk the cow of racism when it suits them. I have struggled for more than 40 years against racism. The fact that none of your peers from other race groups are with you should never discourage you. Take it as a challenge to change this around. We as black South Africans have this challenge. We are the ones who should invite others with great patience. We are the ones who need to assure them that we have no intention of dominating them or swallowing them up as distinct building blocks that are part of our Nation. We are a party which unashamedly espouses pluralism. We are a party which has always celebrated the diversity of this Nation. We are a rich Nation because of the diverse cultures of our people. It is we as the majority who need to attract people of other cultures and races. They need to know that they have nothing to fear from us. This we will not achieve merely by words, but by deeds.

If we do not fight crime, they will never get that assurance. If they think it is we who continue to kill farmers, there can never be that assurance. If we rape our own women, others will say if they can do this to their own, how much more will they do to us. If we continue killing each other, others will always have a pretext of fear and can never hold the hand we offer them. If we have no integrity, they can never trust us. If we are not seen to be doing everything possible to help our suffering poor, others can never expect us to be more generous towards them when we cannot treat even our own people humanely. This is what I mean by the revolution of goodwill. It does not cost anything. It is just something to do with attitude. It is something to do with a change of heart.

There are so many ways to build bridges across cultural divides and unite different people with one cause. The task of building bridges goes hand in hand with the challenge of development, for until we work together, the results of our labour will be haphazard. There is so much which can be done towards development within our communities and so many ways to get involved. I encourage our youth to stand as an example by taking ownership of your own neighbourhood. Start clean-up operations, put together teams to do repairs to buildings, fences and side-walks, find out where assistance is required for the elderly and disabled members of your community and help them. All this is the work of future leaders. You now have youth leaders who are in charge of municipalities and others are in parliaments. Start programmes in your own localities and seek the assistance of your leaders who are at the helm of these decision-making bodies, such as municipalities.

The IFP is committed to raising leaders among this generation by giving its youth the space to express their leadership ability, their sense of responsibility towards community and their creative initiative. Time and again I have said that the Youth Brigade carries the task of developing its own activities. I am not saying this to shift a difficult task away from other Party structures, but to give the opportunity to our Youth Brigade to show what it is made of. I believe our IFP youth have what it takes to mobilise support for this Party; the guts, the creativity, and the determination. I encourage this year’s conference to dare to motivate the Youth Brigade in all our branches to make themselves visible, useful and known in our communities. It is time for the Youth Brigade at branch level to become active on their own initiative.

The IFP has survived for many years on very little resources. In fact, against the odds, we have been able to bring in new constituencies without running expensive advertising campaigns through the various media. We are still here and still growing because the IFP has something South Africa needs. We have integrity, experience, know-how and courage. The Youth Brigade is in a unique position to expand our base of support by stepping up on our visibility across South Africa. The cause now is for a stronger IFP, an IFP that can take the 2004 elections and move South Africa forward to development, prosperity and peace. I feel that meeting this challenge will take everything the Youth Brigade has, every talent, every resource, and every spare moment. But I believe the Youth Brigade can do it.

Mobilising South Africa’s youth towards the IFP demands that we meet young people where they are and convey the relevance of the Party and the relevance of politics. Right now, the Party is considering how we may reach young people through projects that combine entertainment with political mobilisation. I would like to see the Youth Brigade take up this idea and run with it. We need to get the youth excited about politics by bringing the issues out into the open. I know that young people are passionate about life, and that logically demands that they be passionate about anti-HIV/AIDS campaigns, and anti-abuse campaigns, and campaigns for raising levels of education, skills training and employment opportunities.

 

We must generate enthusiasm and develop fora in which every young South African can speak, debate, contribute and brainstorm. We must get young South Africans involved and let them know that the IFP is the party in which commitment to our country’s future may be expressed and deliver results. It seems that more and more, politics is becoming distanced from the world of our youth. The issues are perhaps not so clear-cut any more as they used to be and it is often difficult to see where one may become involved. Unlike the fiery cause for liberation that spoke directly into every heart because it touched every life, the fight against rising levels of unemployment is awkward to adopt.

You should not lose heart merely because of the unemployment situation. Unemployment should itself be a challenge to all of us, to you and to us, to see what we can do together to survive in the dire economic straits in which we find ourselves. The campaign that was conducted for sanctions and disinvestment during the liberation struggle are things that I predicted would devastate us, as the poorest section of the community, more than any others. The IFP has supported the macro-economic strategy of the national Government, GEAR, an acronym for growth, employment and redistribution. We have supported privatisation of State assets towards this goal. But as you can see, unions are opposing the policy of government to the extent that they are organising a huge demonstration against privatisation next week. The forthcoming Conference on Racism is going to be attended by Heads of State, Ministers, businessmen and other influential people from all over the world. Can you imagine what a negative perception about South Africa as a destination for investment, that all these delegates from all over the world will carry away with them when they return to their own countries? All these activities have compounded our serious problems of unemployment. It is as if there is a curse on our country. Survival in all these impossible situations is a challenge to you. It is your future which is threatened.

Today, politics requires a greater level of intellectual involvement. We need to think, not just feel. This generation cannot shy away from the challenge of understanding the complexity of the issues confronting South Africa, leaving politics to the politicians. Politicians are the voice of the people. When the people stop speaking through their politicians and start muttering to one another, politicians become distanced from the facts and their value as agents of change depreciates rapidly. South Africa needs to stop complaining about its leaders and elect people who can lead. The youth is not impotent in this regard. It holds a powerful hand to remove from office those who are not leading with integrity and commitment, and place in office a mouthpiece of a new generation. Let us tell every young South African; you must get involved in politics, you can get involved and this is how you do it.

The message of the IFP Youth Brigade must be carried into the very heart of South Africa’s youth. Political rallies may not draw them, that is a reality. Political slogans may not catch on with young people right away. But combine entertainment, relevance and a banner that is recognised throughout South Africa, and I believe young people will come. Above all else, we must be relevant. The changing face of our world landscape and the shifting dynamics of human interaction in a new millennium, call for a different approach from that which has been used year after year after year. It is no longer effective to say AIDS kills and leave it at that. Information is out there. We need to talk openly about every aspect of this disease and know that it has become real for thousands upon thousands of South African youth who have watched their friends dying, or have contracted HIV themselves.

The issues have become hard-hitting. Children as young as nine are dealing in drugs. Drugs are real. They are available. They will destroy your life if you bend your integrity and dabble in substance experimentation. I shudder to think of the young lives which are lost to substance abuse, for I believe that inherent in every young life is the possibility to change South Africa. I don’t want to see a new generation of individuals who are too weak with disease, too riddled with addictions, too corrupted by sub-cultures and too ignorant to care. I thank God that in the youth of the IFP Youth Brigade I see the hope for our future. I see in this group attending our conference a generation of integrity and commitment. I see strong young people, with intelligence, and information at their fingertips. I see courage, and potential, and leadership ability.

I challenge the IFP Youth Brigade to expand the boundaries of goodwill and integrity, and draw in every young South African with a will to live their best, so that they may give their best. I believe we can forge a new generation by growing the seedbed of the IFP Youth Brigade and reaching out for those who are like-minded. Let them know that if they want to make a difference, the IFP Youth Brigade is the place to be. If they have something to prove about their own capacity for success, let them come prove it here. If they have received the mantle of leadership just by caring more than anyone around them, let them come work with us. Let the older ones teach the younger ones the way of the IFP. Ours is the way of integrity, development and growth. Ours is the path of goodwill to prosperity. Let them come. This is what we meant when we suggested "Forging a new Generation with Integrity and Commitment to Development" as a theme for this Conference.

As the IFP Youth Brigade begins to mobilise young people and takes the initiative to develop activities within their communities that makes them seen and heard, I believe a new generation of integrity and commitment to development will be forged. The IFP Youth Brigade can become a champion of community development if it will take up the challenge to get involved. The task of this Conference is twofold; firstly, to take the decision to commit to mobilising young people towards greater responsibility, involvement and activity, and then to find ways and means of organising the greatest campaign of mobilisation the IFP has ever seen. I pray that you may succeed, for in your success lies the ultimate success of this Party. 2004 depends on you. I trust you can win it.

This is election time. In politics, there is never a time between election campaigns. We are on the campaign trail right now. Let the power to win the next elections be generated from here. I believe we can do it. If I believe it, you can believe it. If you believe it, the message will go out that we can and we will. The message must catch on like wildfire throughout our communities. When communities believe it, districts will believe it. When they believe, provinces will believe it. Let the message spread across South Africa.

The IFP can win these elections. We believe it. We will see it. The victory is ours.

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