Ntambanana Municipal Hall: 29 April 2011
The Honourable Mayor of Uthungulu District
Municipality, Councillor Stan Larkan; the Honourable Mayor of
Ntambanana Local Municipality, Councillor Biyela; Honourable
Councillors; valued sponsors; and distinguished guests.
As we gather here at Ntambanana Hall, we are in
the company of leaders and public figures. But there is none more
important in this room today than those who have come to receive the
uniforms and umbrellas, the soccer kits and garden equipment, the
walking sticks and furniture, which is being handed over by
Uthungulu District Municipality. Our gathering here today is all
We are here to say thank you for helping us to
perform our responsibilities as leaders, for we know that we cannot
deliver services without your support and we cannot lead without
your mandate. I am here today in my capacity as a traditional leader
and a leader of the Zulu nation. I am also here as a patriotic citizen
who cares that the needs of the people are met by government.
Although I am not speaking as the President of the IFP, I am
nevertheless the leader of the Party that leads the municipality in Ntambanana and in the district of Uthungulu. As such, I am here to
hold Mayor Larkan accountable, to see to it that he delivers on the
mandate the IFP has given him to serve this community.
I am grateful to have an established relationship
with this community, which has been built over some 35 years. You
know me and you know my values. You will therefore know that we
share a vision of development and upliftment that has more to do
with a hand-up, than a hand out. I believe in self-help and
self-reliance; which means empowering people to rise above their
circumstances through their own efforts. Everyone needs help at some
point, and at some point every one of us has a responsibility to
That is why I don't believe in offering food
parcels for votes, or even making empty promises to get the vote.
The goods that are donated to you today come with no strings
attached. My Party doesn't expect your unquestioning allegiance. We
believe in earning your support every day, whether it's an election
year or not. We believe in partnerships that put the needs of our
people first. And we believe in working hard to keep your trust and
deserve your support.
I wish to thank everyone who has partnered with
the Uthungulu District Municipality to make these donations
available. They are needed and useful, and are therefore welcomed. I
know that the Municipality is not giving out of the overflow of its
coffers; it has worked hard to gather the resources to make today
possible. We are grateful to everyone who has made a contribution,
and we thank you. Once again, we cannot do what we do by ourselves.
In South Africa's economy, the fiscus is unequally
divided between the national, provincial and local government, and
local government receives by far less than any other sphere. Yet it
is expected to do somehow more with less, because it is here that
services are actually delivered. Not only are our municipalities
poorly funded by the fiscus, but they also do not benefit from rates
and service charges. So they have very little to work with to
perform their constitutional mandate.
Fortunately the Uthungulu District Municipality,
like 31 other municipalities across KwaZulu Natal, has a 35 year
track record of service in governance to guide them when it comes to
sound financial management and making every Rand count. IFP led
municipalities stand strong on the IFP's legacy of delivery,
accountability, integrity and service. Councillors and Mayors who
are elected on an IFP ticket are expected to serve with integrity
and dedication. They are expected to serve everyone, regardless of
their political affiliation, and they are expected to work hard.
I know that this community has been approached by
the newly formed NFP, and all sorts of promises have been made to
try to persuade you to surrender your vote to an untested party.
Your vote is valuable. That is why it is being pursued. I have no
intention of telling you what to do, but I feel I must warn you so
that you will not be tricked out of the leadership you ask for at
the coming local government elections. In less than three weeks we
will all be going to the polls to decide the future of our
When the NFP was formed, the political analysts
and even the media questioned how long it would last. It is not
expected to survive much past the local government elections, in
part because it was formed out of discontent, instead of any
original ideology, and in part because those who defected to the NFP
are expecting to be rewarded with high positions, and there just
aren't enough positions to go around in political parties. A party
that is all leaders and no followers always ends up imploding.
It would therefore not be wise for the electorate
to empower the NFP through the vote, because it is highly doubtful
whether they will last five years to the next local government
elections. And as they fight their internal battles, it is service
delivery that will be compromised. As we say, when the elephants
fight, it is the grass that suffers. I worry about where our people
will be left if the leadership they choose disintegrates before
their term of office has even expired. The NFP is untested and
likely to fail. Their policies are vague and they have nothing new
But there is another danger in the electorate
giving their vote to the NFP, and that is the problem of the NFP
splitting the vote and handing our municipalities to the ANC on a
silver platter. This happened during by-elections in Eshowe and
Estcourt, where the NFP sent their leaders to stand as independent
candidates. They wanted to test the waters to see how much support a
new party could garner. The communities rejected them and they
failed to win the vote. But because a few people were fooled by the
NFP's glitz and glamour, a few took their vote from the IFP and gave
it to the NFP. The result was disastrous. The IFP won too few votes
against the real opponent; the ANC, and the ANC took over Eshowe and
I regret that this is what will happen wherever
the NFP succeeds in splitting the vote. And the ANC knew it all
along. That is why some leaders of the ANC bankrolled the split in
our Party and supported the formation of the NFP. Because the IFP is
still the ANC's strongest opposition and we are still a threat to
them in KwaZulu Natal. They figured that a weakened IFP would give
them the space to take your municipalities away from the leadership
you prefer. It is a dirty trick, and one that I hope will not befall
I do not want to see you cheated out of the
leadership you know and the leadership you choose. If you do vote
IFP, you will get IFP. But if you vote NFP, you are going to get
ANC. It is therefore crucial that you come out and vote on the 18th
of May to make your voice heard. Your vote is your voice, and your
vote will make all the difference for the future of Ntambanana. I
ask those of you who have recently turned 18 and are voting for the
first time to speak to your elders and to get involved in politics.
Don't be fooled by the sexy campaign promises of untested parties.
Find out who has served your community over the past decades and who
has done it well.
As I have said, we cannot serve without your
support and we cannot lead without your mandate. We need you to
speak through the ballot box, to strengthen your municipality. I
appeal to the elderly to register to use the Special Vote, if you
have not yet done so. Registration will close on Tuesday, so there
is not much time left to make sure that your vote is counted during
this election. The Special Vote applies to anyone who is unable, for
any reason, to visit their polling station on the 18th of May. The IEC will then assist you to vote on the 16th
or 17th of May.
Voting is not all about empowering a political
party. It is about securing the next five years of governance and
service delivery for you, for your family and your community. Local
government is all about you. It is about bringing you closer to the
decision-making process, so that you can decide where roads are
constructed, where homes are electrified, where water is
reticulated, where clinics are built and where schools are
established. It is also about maintaining the infrastructure that
you already have.
I am therefore pleased that the donation we hand
over today includes such things as gardening equipment, for I have
always been a staunch advocate of community vegetable gardens. I
feel that flowers are beautiful; but a garden full of vegetable
feeds hungry mouths. When I led the erstwhile KwaZulu Government, we
sent some of our women leaders to study community development
projects and cooperatives at international level, so that they could
return and assist our poorest people to begin producing enough food.
Food security has always been a concern for my Party, and more so
now that food prices are skyrocketing across South Africa.
I know that times are tough, and getting tougher.
Here in Ntambanana, we are trying to do as much as we can with the
little we have to alleviate the burden of daily living. We recognize
that the community is not able pay for services like refuse removal,
and this function is therefore performed at no cost. We are not
going to say that if you can't pay, you can't receive the service.
What we do say is that governance is a partnership and as we work
together we will be able to uplift Ntambanana beyond its present
There is tremendous need in this community, but
there is also a tremendous spirit of goodwill. It is wonderful to be
among people who still have hope because of the love you have for
South Africa. We share that hope for the future because we are
convinced that our people deserve more and can have more.
As a leadership, we need more support so that we
can lobby government even at a national level to pay more attention
to municipal governance. There is no point in the ruling Party
flaunting the work it is doing at national level to try to prove its
success. What is it doing here, at local level, where services are
actually delivered? What is it achieving here with the little bit of
money it deigns to allocate to local government?
Empowering local government with greater resources
goes against the ideals of the ANC, because they believe in
centralising power at the top. But the IFP believes in creating
strong, open, efficient municipalities that work for you. The
candidates who are asking for your vote on the 18th of May 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
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
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 Ntambanana.
It gives me great pleasure to see the tangible
results of all our hard work as we hand over these few goods to the
community. Once again I thank all those who have made this possible,
and I thank the community of Ntambanana for welcoming us here today.
It really is all about you.