Meeting With The Community Of Mzingazi
Remarks By Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
President Of The Inkatha Freedom Party
Inkosi Of The Buthelezi Clan
Chairman: Zululand District House Of Traditional Leaders And
Traditional Prime Minister Of The Zulu Nation

 

Mzingazi Hall: 29 April 2011

 

The Honourable Mayor of Uthungulu District Municipality, Councillor Stan Larkan; the Honourable Mayors of Local Municipalities; Candidate Elect for Mzingazi, Mr Christo Botha; Councillors; valued sponsors; and distinguished guests.

 

I am delighted to have the opportunity to visit the community of Mzingazi. I know that local government has been hard at work here, with the aim of uplifting the community. In partnership with companies like FOSKOR, RBCT, Bay Brick, Lafarge and CSI Electrical, local government has been ploughing into the development of Mzingazi and the care of its people. We have also benefited from the contributions of the community project DICE or Do I Care Enough, Amalooloo and the Protea Hotel Richards Bay. I wish to thank these sponsors in particular, who have made a real difference in our people's lives.

 

There are many others who, through their private means and personal contribution, have helped us to help Mzingazi. In the end, what we have seen here is a partnership of goodwill, and I am grateful to witness the good results. Local government in this community is led by the IFP, which is the Party I established in 1975 and the Party that still serves South Africa with integrity and dedication. I am proud to stand here as the leader of the IFP, because I know we have served our people well and we have nothing to be ashamed of. There are no broken promises haunting the IFP, nor any hints of misdealing or maladministration.

 

We have served with excellence for 35 years. For the past five years, since the last local government elections, we have served in Mzingazi. Now, on the 18th of May 2011, the electorate will have the opportunity to tell us whether we have done well and whether you would like to see a continued partnership of goodwill in this community. We are ready to keep serving and we already have plans for the next five years to benefit you and make your municipality more efficient. But we cannot serve without your support and we cannot lead without your mandate.

 

I therefore ask the community of Mzingazi to speak through the ballot box on the 18th of May and to strengthen the hand that works for you. The IFP is still stronger than the ANC at local government level, which is quite remarkable considering the iron grip the ruling Party exercises almost everywhere else in South Africa. The reason for the IFP's strength at local government level is because here, where services are actually delivered, people prefer a party that is able to meet expectations and actually work. The IFP is the people's choice when it comes to real solutions, real governance and real development.  That is why the IFP leads more municipalities in KwaZulu Natal than the ANC; because our track record is better and the people prefer us.

 

The IFP is also different because we serve every South African, regardless of race, religion or political affiliation. Our councillors are elected on an IFP ticket, but they are expected to serve everyone.  We don't believe in giving out food parcels for votes or punishing anyone for supporting a different party. We also don't expect your support for free. We know that your vote is your mandate. It is not given simply for the sake of allegiance. It demands to be honoured; with hard work, integrity and real representation.

 

The IFP has always worked hard for the people. None of our councillors gets a free ride. We hold them accountable for their performance, and fire those who are not delivering. I myself have been called a workaholic more often than I can remember, and I demand a great deal from those who serve on an IFP ticket. This is because our candidates carry the responsibility of upholding the legacy of the IFP. If they fail you, the IFP fails you; and the IFP will not fail to fulfil the mandate you have given us. We are determined to serve and determined to live up to your expectations.

 

We believe in creating strong, open, efficient municipalities that work for you. The candidates who are asking for your vote on the 18th of May, like Mr Christo Botha, have all taken a pledge of integrity and responsiveness to this community. I want to tell you what they have promised, so that you can hold them accountable.

 

In terms of their pledge, 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.

 

We believe in bringing municipal governance closer to you. We will empower you to participate in decisions that are made, by closely linking your councillors to you in their daily work. We will never dictate to our people 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 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.

 

These are the promises our candidates have made. They are not pie in the sky promises of positions, tenders, jobs and money. They are practical statements of partnership and service that we are well equipped to fulfil, because they are already part of our identity. We have proven over 35 years that we are capable of fulfilling our promises, and we intend to keep doing it for the community of Mzingazi.

 

I am proud of the work we have achieved here, not because it is a display of the IFP's leadership, but because it is an expression of partnership between the IFP and the community. There are remarkable people working hard to bring relief and assistance where it is needed most. I wish to say a special word of thanks to Mr Dylan Brown, the Executive Chef of the Protea Hotel Richard's Bay, who personally delivers a meal to Gogo Mnguni's family every day to ensure that they are receiving enough nourishment. That is the kind of personal commitment that reflects Mzingazi's partnership of goodwill.

 

It was wonderful to visit the building site earlier to see the work that is being done to assist the Mnguni family. True to the IFP's philosophy of self-help and self-reliance, part of this project is the establishment of a vegetable garden that can support the nutritional needs of the family.

 

I am also pleased that the families we are assisting have been encouraged to stay in school. I know that it is difficult to put education first when there is a daily struggle to put food on the table. But I strongly believe that education is the means to liberation. Knowledge will set you free. I therefore thank FOSCOR for supplying the finances not only for building materials, but for school fees, uniforms and stationary.

 

The community project, DICE, has also played an important role in the lives of learners in Mzingazi. Because of their contribution, the learners at Sitholinhlanhla School now have access to a library. The Uthungulu District Municipality is also laying a foundation for the next generation to be able to learn and become equipped to meet the challenges of their future. By sponsoring food for the House of Grace, which looks after 90 children, the Municipality is showing a real commitment to meet real needs.

 

But what really excites me are the projects that are still to come. The IFP is not doing all this for Mzingazi because of the elections. We are doing it because we care. In fact, we have planned community assistance projects well into the future, even beyond the 18th of May. So whatever you decide on the 18th, the IFP will still be distributing clothes, blankets and food parcels, because we know that the winter months are going to be hard on all of us. We are doing it because we care.

 

Nevertheless, it is true that we can achieve far more in partnership than we can alone. I therefore ask you to strengthen the IFP on the 18th of May. Let us strengthen the partnership of goodwill in Mzingazi.

 

I once again I thank all the sponsors and generous stake holders who have ensured the success of the projects we have seen here. But above all I thank Mzingazi itself for welcoming us here today. It really is all about you.