AHEAD OF A BY-ELECTION IN WARD 4
PRINCE MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI MP
PRESIDENT OF THE INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY
Mtubatuba: 20 May 2018
I come to Mtubatuba today filled with expectation. Something here is about to change, and it's changing for the good.
An opportunity has opened to elect a new councillor for Ward 4. On Wednesday morning, just three days from now, voting stations will open at Vezobala High School, Khiphinkunzi Primary School and Arrie Viviers Community Hall. More than 4000 registered voters will be asked to make their mark for the governance of Mtubatuba.
I have come here to ask you for your support, because I believe that you, and your family, and your community deserve a leadership of integrity. You deserve a councillor you can trust, who will carry your voice into the municipal council. The IFP has asked Mr Mkhawuleni Zulu to stand for election, because we know that he is the right kind of leader to deliver good governance.
Mr Zulu has faithfully served through the IFP. We know his character, and he knows that we will hold him accountable. The IFP expects a very high standard from our councillors, because they are your first point of contact with government. A good municipal councillor can make democracy work. They can ensure that needs are met and policies are driven in a real partnership with the people.
Because of this, the IFP chooses councillors who are already respected within the community. We choose solid leaders, who understand that leading is about serving. We choose people who are accessible, who listen, who are committed to justice, who are honest, capable and responsible. We choose the people who will serve you best in local government.
But we don't stop there. When you elect an IFP councillor, the IFP comes alongside that councillor and supports them in their work. They know that the leadership of the IFP will always be available to offer guidance, assistance and support. But we will also keep an eye on their progress, to make sure they are fulfilling their commitment to you. We have no fear of removing people from positions if they fail to serve. To the IFP, service to the people comes first.
I therefore ask you to partner with the IFP in this ward, to strengthen our leadership throughout Mtubatuba and throughout the Umkhanyakude District. In the last Local Government Elections, in 2016, the electorate in Mtubatuba, Big5/Hlabisa and in Jozini called on the IFP to lead.
I want to thank you for that good decision. Already the principled leadership of the IFP is making a difference in Umkhanyakude, so much so that when we went to a by-election in Jozini last month, the IFP won another resounding victory. Thus the partnership between the IFP and the people has been strengthened. Together we are working for a government of excellence.
I want ward 4 to join this partnership, because you deserve more than you've been getting. While the IFP leads in Mtubatuba, ward 4 has been under an ANC councillor. So where the focus elsewhere is on service delivery and development, the focus in ward 4 has been on politics. Our opponents spend a good deal of time trying to topple the IFP.
In fact the ANC's political shenanigans have compromised this ward before. In 2015, the ANC wrongly denied ward 4 the right to participate in their provincial conference. This was among the reasons why the High Court last year declared that ANC conference unlawful and invalid. There are far too many political intrigues inside the ANC.
It was the arrest of their Councillor earlier this year, on charges of drunk driving, that led to a vacancy in ward 4. I suspect that now the electorate will send a powerful message that that kind of leadership is unacceptable. It is time for service delivery to take centre stage in all the wards of Mtubatuba. We can achieve that, through your vote.
I have come here today not only to ask for your support, but to listen to your needs. I know that housing is a real problem in Mtubatuba, that some of the roads are not well-maintained, and that healthcare needs to be prioritised. I know that many of you still struggle with access to clean drinking water, and that unemployment is keeping families in poverty.
This is certainly not the way things should be. Our Mayor and his team here in Mtubatuba are working hand in hand with Umkhanyakude District to address the challenges you face. We know that development doesn't happen overnight, but we also know how to build, one brick at a time, while protecting the available resources from being stolen, diverted or misused.
What sets the IFP apart more than anything else is our integrity. We are a party you can trust, because we have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to corruption. Every cent available to the municipality must be well-spent. We prioritise good financial management in local governance because we know that the money available will need to stretch to meet all the needs. Local government still receives the smallest part of the State's budget, because the ruling Party believes that national government is more important and the people at the top should hold all the power.
Fortunately the IFP has vast experience in working with State resources, and we know how to make a little go a very long way. Even before democracy we were gaining experiencing through the administration of the KwaZulu Government. With the miniscule budget afforded by the apartheid State to KwaZulu, my administration built more than 6000 classrooms. We built hospitals and clinics, a university, training colleges, industrial development zones and business hubs, as well as countless houses.
We taught self-help and self-reliance, empowering people to put food on the table even when there was little formal work available. We ensured that the fields of KwaZulu were filled with crops, farmed through cooperatives. We ensured that entrepreneurs could access seed capital, when banks refused to give black people loans. We brought investment to this province through sound economic policies, and we kept large industries from leaving when others called for disinvestment.
Throughout the 19 years that I led the Government of KwaZulu, never once was a single allegation of corruption ever leveled at my administration. We ran a clean ship, working in partnership with the people, with the utmost integrity. That is still the way the IFP operates. We brought all our experience into a democratic South Africa. While others were still finding their feet, the IFP was running.
It feels as though our opponents are looking for their feet again. Weak and unethical leadership has done tremendous damage, not only to the ruling party, but to our country. South Africa's economy has fallen so far that it now has almost a junk status from international ratings agencies. That means no one will want to invest and no one will want to lend us money.
Our State has been captured so that no one knows exactly who is pulling the strings. Our social grant system has come close to collapse more than once, and our healthcare system barely functions for those who can't afford private hospitals. RDP houses that were built at a hugely inflated cost, now need millions more to keep them from falling apart, and rampant tender fraud is seeing shoddy workmanship and unethical contractors eat up more and more municipal money.
These are the realities created by a leadership that lost its moral compass years ago. No wonder the electorate is looking for hope. Voters are calling for change. Wherever by-elections are held, a single message resonates. We want leaders we can trust. That is exactly what I want for Mtubatuba, and for the whole of my country. It is why I have worked for more than four decades to keep the IFP clean, unified and strong. Because South Africa needs the principled voice of the IFP to drive good governance.
If you want to know what kind of leadership the IFP offers, look at our legacy. We are workers, builders, peacemakers and revolutionaries. We bring change for the better, and wherever we are, the voice of the people is stronger. So look at the past, because that's where our legacy lies. But don't stay there too long, because the real strength of the IFP lies not in the past, but in the future.
The work we are doing today is laying a foundation for better governance tomorrow. We are doing what it takes now to create jobs, security, social justice and development for the future. Our work is going to bear fruit. I want you to be part of the journey, so that we will arrive sooner and stronger. We can do so much more in partnership with the people of Mtubatuba. I ask the voters of ward 4 to join us, as we take Mtubatuba forward.
When voting stations open at 07:00 on Wednesday morning, be ready to make your mark for good governance. Make the good decision to be served by the IFP. We are ready to work on your behalf. Let us make this another success story.
I thank you.Mr Mkhwanazi, representing the Mpukunyoni Tribal Authority; His Worship the Mayor Cllr VM Gumede