Address by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
President of the Inkatha Freedom Party
King Zwelithini Stadium, Durban: 2 March 2014
The 7th of May 2014 will be a defining moment. After twenty years of democracy, the first generation to be born in a free South Africa will exercise their right to vote. Together, we can take our country into a new era – one of renewed possibility and hope. As voters, we will shape our future. We will choose our path and, together, we will walk this path into tomorrow.
IFP activists from my generation will watch and pray. We will cast our vote, and offer our wisdom. We have done all we can to bequeath to this generation a legacy of integrity and righteous action. It is for your sake that we have laboured. Now, the future rests in your hands.
The bridge between this generation and the legacy of righteous struggle does not rest in the current government. Today's government is a far cry from the liberation movement of the past. Through its own failings, it has lost moral authority, integrity and the right to lead us forward.
When we look at the present government, we are not reminded of the heroes of reconciliation and freedom; people like Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo, Robert Sobukwe, Albert Luthuli, Alphaeus Zulu, Zami Conco, Steve Biko and Joe Mathews. Today's leaders do not inspire us to continue their struggle.
Instead, when we look to the current government, we feel rising contempt and rising anxiety; for corruption, protest and scandal have displaced reconciliation, freedom and hope. Those who claim to represent our past have failed, and disappointed us severely.
But there is still a bridge that links this generation to the warriors of freedom. There is still a righteous remnant from a political era in which integrity, morality and honest leadership prevailed. That bridge is the IFP.
Over almost forty years of principled leadership, the IFP has seen generations unite and work together for freedom. Young and old have worked hand in hand on the side of what is true and right.
I learnt the value of different generations working together from my uncle, the founding father of South Africa's liberation movement, Dr Pixley ka Isaka Seme.
When I was in matric, my uncle had an eye operation and needed help transcribing his political writings. I assisted him. I sat with him for hours and soaked up the ideals, vision and values of the struggle.
I learnt also from Inkosi Albert Luthuli, who became the first black person to win the Nobel Peace Prize. As a young man, fresh from University, I sought Inkosi Luthuli's guidance on servant leadership, faith and the art of creating social cohesion.
Throughout sixty years in politics and public life, I have learned from men and women of integrity, from patriots and honest leaders. And I have taught these same values and lessons to young leaders in the IFP. I have modelled the values of our past warriors of freedom, knowing that these values will be needed in the battles to come; the battles that will be waged long after I am gone.
Thus the IFP is the custodian of the values and ideals of freedom. When we entered democracy, we did not change.
The IFP entered South Africa's new democracy with nineteen years of experience in governance. We already knew what would work, and what would not; what was needed, and what should be avoided at all costs. So the pitfalls of uncertainty, inexperience and entitlement that overtook our colleagues in the Government of National Unity, never encumbered the IFP.
We retained our focus and our integrity, and we steered the Government back onto the right course time and time again.
With the final Constitution, the Government of National Unity ended and the IFP became a voice of opposition in our nation's Parliament. But our value in governance was recognised. President Mbeki offered me the Deputy Presidency of our country.
Unfortunately, his comrades in KwaZulu Natal saw a political opportunity and demanded that the IFP hand over the premiership of KwaZulu Natal in exchange. As a democrat, I could not do that. I could not subvert the will of the electorate, expressed through the ballot box. The people had asked the IFP to lead KwaZulu Natal. I would not sell your vote. Buying and selling votes is not the IFP's style.
So the IFP became a voice of opposition, and we continued to steer government back onto the right path. We became the warriors for democracy and we fought every political battle with passion and integrity, winning victories for South Africa time and time again.
In KwaZulu Natal, the IFP proved that government under democracy can be clean, efficient and effective. Even under the thumb of a national government that wanted us to fail, the IFP shaped KwaZulu Natal into an outstanding example of economic development, social cohesion and effective policy.
We were able to do this because we fought for South Africa at the negotiating table. As parties vied to shape our future constitutional democracy, the IFP insisted on a federal model that would allow power to be decentralised to the lowest level of government. In other words, we fought for a democracy that would work from the ground up, instead of a government imposed from the top, down.
The National Party didn't see the need for this, and the now ruling party vehemently opposed the idea of power being decentralised. They wanted all the power, at the top, in the hands of the few, so that they could govern South Africa unchallenged by anyone; even by the people themselves.
But, thanks to God, the IFP's dogged fight for federalism won provinces for South Africa and a place in the Constitution for provincial power to develop policy and craft laws. Effectively, the IFP opened the way for people to decide what suits them best, where they are. We paved the way for healthy competition between provinces, to raise the bar on service excellence. We paved the way for relevant policy, timely solutions and practical governance.
Because of this, the IFP was able to serve KwaZulu Natal with excellence for ten years. In the nineteen years I led KwaZulu before democracy, not a single allegation of corruption was ever levelled at my administration. The IFP maintained our track record for clean leadership after 1994.
But despite our contribution to good governance and despite our leadership role in KwaZulu Natal for those first ten years, we have witnessed the national leadership of our country deteriorating year upon year.
We see promises made, and we see those same promises broken.
Like you, we saw a leadership installed under the cloud of criminal suspicion and personal scandal. We have seen corruption take hold at every level of government and watched as it removed two National Commissioners of Police, several national Ministers, provincial MECs and many highly placed officials.
We saw cadre deployment become entrenched and tenderpreneurs enrich themselves at the expense of service delivery. Now, we see rising dissatisfaction and a growing tide of violent protest. We have seen the alliance partners of the ruling party reject the best wish of Government – the National Development Plan – just as they rejected the Growth, Employment and Redistribution Plan, which was immediately abandoned.
We see how votes are bought with food parcels and how voters are bussed into areas to swing by-election results. We see the massive abuse of State resources and, thanks to the Auditor General and the Public Protector, we hear how the Government has lost R24,8 billion to irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
We see how the Land Reform Programme has been corrupted, and how Ithala Bank enriches the wives of the elite. We see how unemployment and the budget deficit grow, while national debt rises, and the cost of living outstrips us all.
In this parlous state, South Africans will vote again.
There is no doubt, the current government needs to be fired. But although support for the ruling party will dramatically drop in 2014, the government is unlikely to change hands at this point.
I sound this warning because there are many parties clamouring for your vote, promising to deliver the sun, moon and stars if you make them the government in 2014. They can afford to make these promises; because they won't be called upon to fulfil them.
Some political newcomers promise to increase and even double social grants. But they can't tell you where the money will come from. They offer no plan to grow the economy or to shrink the budget deficit. But they want you to believe that extra money will magically materialise if they assume the reins. Conveniently, they won't have to prove their promises.
Voting for a party that promises doubled salaries and doubled social grants won't make this promise come true. It merely takes votes away from a constructive opposition that knows how to get things done.
Tragically, parties contesting the 2014 elections are asking you to take the power from the hands of corrupt politicians and weak leaders, and simply redistribute it, so that we retain a weak government, but also have a loud opposition reminding us how bad things are.
That is not the IFP's position!
The IFP is working to take the power out of the hands of a weak government, and put it back where it belongs: in your hands. We want to give you the power to change South Africa. We want to empower your voice. The IFP knows the truth about democracy and we want you to hear it. The truth is: the power is yours!
This truth drives our work. This is why the IFP's election manifesto is different to any other manifesto on offer. We know the hardship people face and we understand the challenges of our country. South Africa is facing serious challenges and we need leaders that are serious about solving them! The IFP has a plan to help people get out of their circumstances, not just to survive in them.
Our manifesto is more than a wish list, and more than a litany of fantastical promises. It is an action plan, and it's something we will work towards regardless of whether we become the government or we continue as a strong and constructive opposition.
The IFP's manifesto goes beyond a vision statement and even beyond an explanation of how to achieve it. We have taken the extra step of listing practical actions we will take over the next five years to bring South Africa closer to the country you deserve.
Strong nations are not built on promises. They are built on truth and honest leadership.
The truth about service delivery is that you deserve better. South Africans have lost faith in their national, provincial and local government. Protests across the country prove that people don't believe government can perform even the most basic functions. Incompetence, financial mismanagement and dishonesty are compromising service delivery.
I was shocked to hear our nation's President belittle the real hardship faced by so many people when he explained that violent protests are the result of Government's good service delivery. He claimed that 95% of people are happy and taken care of, which makes the 5% who are still in need more impatient for their share.
What an insult to our people's intelligence. What a shocking disconnect from the reality so many suffer.
There are communities across our country where flushing toilets are a fantasy, and clean drinking water is a long unfulfilled promise. How can 95% of our people be happy, when more than a quarter have no source of income and cannot find work? When millions live in poverty, when almost everyone has been affected by crime, when we are all worried about the future?
The IFP is determined to heal the many wounds in our nation.
We are determined to reform service delivery by making it work from the local level, up. We plan to professionalise how municipalities are managed and create accountability, not just to the Auditor General, but to the communities our municipalities serve.
We plan to hire people who are qualified and care about what you need more than themselves. We plan to hire people, regardless of their party affiliation, with the experience to: assess and plan for the infrastructure you need, schedule regular maintenance for existing facilities, and publicly account for the money they control.
Actions speak louder than words. Like you, the IFP wants to see action.
This is why we plan to -
1. Take politics out of service delivery.
2. Take quick action against those who do not deliver.
3. Prosecute those accused of corruption and make sure the guilty serve their full sentences.
4. Offer on-the-job training to those who want it.
5. Track the municipal manager's progress with regular site visits and spot inspections; and
6. Partner with you, the voters, to help deliver essential services. These partnership programmes will promote sweat equity incentives to those who work to build houses, and lay pipes for water, electricity and sanitation in their communities.
As we vote on the 7th of May, I encourage you to ask yourself three questions -
1. Are your representatives capable of fulfilling their duties and their promises?
2. Have they represented your interests with honesty and integrity?
3. Have they responded to the issues that affect you and your family?
You deserve a government that serves your needs and represents you, with integrity. You have the right to demand honesty from anyone in authority.
With your support, the IFP plans to -
1. Enforce the Constitution and make Parliament review and punish dishonesty and inappropriate use of resources. This also means guaranteeing the Auditor General, the Public Protector, the National Prosecuting Authority and the Special Investigating Unit have the resources they require to investigate and prosecute suspected abuse.
2. We plan to investigate all cases of corruption and prosecute the offenders in a specially mandated Corruption Court.
3. Fire all law enforcement officers and public servants found guilty of stealing your tax money or abusing their power.
4. Eradicate tender fraud by giving the National Treasury the means to monitor all supply chain management activities.
5. Professionalise the civil service by limiting the policy of cadre deployment that currently compromises delivery and development.
6. Appoint qualified and competent people, regardless of their party affiliation, to head the country's prosecution and policing agencies; and
7. Assess and reward officials based on their performance, regardless of their party affiliation.
When it comes to education, the IFP understands that it's about our children. It's not about sacrificing quality to churn out Grade 12 passes. It's about equipping young South Africans to work, create and become masters of their own destiny. It's about encouraging our children to be and to do all that they are capable of. The IFP believes there is a role and a place for everyone in South Africa. Every contribution matters!
Our education system needs to be overhauled to meet world standards. To nurture our children, the IFP is determined to –
1. Re-focus the curriculum to concentrate on quality and to motivate teachers and children to learn to think and challenge themselves.
2. Encourage parents to get more involved in their children's education.
3. Take politics out of education – our children's future should not be compromised by union and governing body politics.
4. Help teachers develop their skills by reopening teacher training colleges and funding more support programmes.
5. Support each principal's efforts to hold their teachers accountable and manage their schools honestly and efficiently.
6. Promote inclusive education to cater for the differently abled; and
7. Support tertiary education by allocating more money for accommodation and scholarships
Education is the key that unlocks opportunity. And South Africa needs to work much harder to create opportunities for those willing to seize them.
The IFP will get South Africa working. We have the experience, the knowledge and the will to take action NOW! Our mission is to create conditions that attract and develop skills and enable current and new businesses to drive our country forward. To grow South Africa's economy and create jobs, the IFP is determined to –
1. Balance job creation and job protection by revising the labour laws to allow more flexibility.
2. Take politics out of the economy – union politics should not hold our
economic future to ransom.
3. Focus on developing skills suitable for today's job market by funding training programmes, apprenticeships and learnerships.
4. Create tax incentives and low tax investment zones in rural areas to stimulate growth, jobs and development.
5. Support sustainable small and medium sized businesses (SMMEs) and reward them for employing and training women, youth and those who are differently abled.
6. Partner with the mining and related sectors to refine raw materials in South Africa and build our processing and manufacturing industries; and
7. Use idle farms and financial incentives to encourage new and current farmers to grow cash crops for export.
We need to get South Africa working!
Our nation is suffering. When we look to the health care system, it is clear that we are living in a state of crisis.
We need hospitals and clinics that are staffed by competent professionals who are properly rewarded for their performance. The IFP believes it is our duty to provide you with health services that are affordable, care for you and your family, and use experienced staff and quality equipment to diagnose and treat you.
The IFP has delivered these services in KwaZulu-Natal. We know what needs to be done and how do it!
To reform this system, the IFP plans to –
1. Streamline the policies governing how healthcare is delivered.
2. Prosecute and punish dishonest behaviour according to the law.
3. Properly pay doctors and nurses, especially those working in rural areas.
4. Take politics out of healthcare – party and union politics should not compromise the service you receive; and
5. Train and re-train hospital staff to cope with new procedures and equipment.
The IFP's mission is to heal our nation.
An important step in this healing process is to address the contentious issue of land use and land reform which pits so many South Africans against each other.
We need to build trust and common purpose amongst all land users: traditional leaders, claimants, tenants, farm workers, farm owners and government. The IFP plans to work with stakeholders to search for common and viable solutions by –
1. Commissioning a full-scale land audit to officially determine who owns what
2. Use these findings to redistribute State land and to support community projects to farm it commercially.
3. Recognize white, commercial farmers as citizens with rights and obligations to their land, and urgently address farm attacks.
4. Protect farm workers and tenants from eviction.
5. Limit taxes that minimize a farm's profitability, such as those required by the Property Rates Act.
6. Encourage partnerships and mentorships with experienced farmers to attract and train new farmers, and to develop supporting industries such as transport services; and
7. Ensure that commercially productive farms will not be used for mere resettlement or subsistence farming.
Respecting each other and upholding the law is the only way to secure our shared future.
The IFP champions the rule of law. We believe everyone should honour the law. But to create respect for the law; the judiciary, the police and the prison system need to be overhauled.
The IFP plans to insist that the Judiciary –
1. Be more efficient about their work.
2. Prosecute and punish any dishonest behaviour according to the law; and
3. Improve the working conditions for prosecutors, judges and court administrators to boost morale and efficiency.
The IFP plans to turn the police into a highly qualified, well-paid and motivated service by –
1. Upgrading the current training curriculum to emphasise human rights, empathy, investigative skills, and forensic analysis.
2. Decentralising how the police and its various divisions are managed.
3. Encouraging the community to respect authority, and making the police more accountable to the communities they serve.
4. Appointing senior officers and administrators based on their ability and experience, and regularly review and reward their performance; and
5. By improving the conditions police officers work under and paying them properly.
South Africa needs prisons that reform inmates. To achieve this, the IFP plans to –
1. Overhaul and depoliticise the parole system so that hard-core criminals and those who are politically connected serve their full sentences.
2. Develop and fund programmes that rehabilitate juvenile offenders.
3. Develop alternative sentencing guidelines for those convicted of minor offences to reduce the number of inmates in our prisons and to ensure that violent criminals are not housed with those convicted of lesser charges; and
4. Prosecute officials' accused of corruption and hire and reward people based on their skills and experience.
Everyone plays a role in shaping South Africa. For many generations, traditional leaders have ensured good governance in traditional communities, creating discipline, social cohesion and social justice. But over the past twenty years, traditional leaders have seen their role, powers and functions eroded.
Our diversity and traditions are the foundation of our democracy. The IFP plans to continue to embrace this diversity and promote the leadership role women play. The IFP plans to –
1. Protect and sustain the institution of traditional leadership.
2. Respect, train and properly compensate traditional leaders.
3. Support efforts to promote and preserve the moral fibre and regeneration of our society.
4. Help you as traditional leaders promote communal economies through self-help and self-reliance programmes and projects.
5. Insist that you as traditional leaders promote peace, stability and social cohesion in your communities.
6. Ensure that legislation clearly defines the role, powers and functions of our traditional leaders; and
7. Ensure that traditional leadership structures receive an appropriate budget.
Our culture, customs and values define us. We deserve to be proud of who we are. South Africa is a great nation. There is potential within us and we have not even begun to tap it! But under a weak leader, we will never see our economy or our society reach the heights it could.
The IFP wants to see a South Africa where every individual can fulfil their potential, without fear, need or despair. We want to see a stable and growing economy that focuses on development, rather than just temporary safety nets.
Poverty must be eradicated, not just alleviated. We want to see unity among our people and a leadership that is worthy of respect.
All of this can be achieved. It is possible. And the power to create it is yours. The IFP understands this and we are here to partner with you on the journey to changing South Africa.
We believe that people who vote, own and shape their own future. We also believe that people who vote for the IFP are people who understand what real democracy means. It is not about voting for those in power in a show of blind allegiance, and it is not about voting for their loudest critics to let them know how angry we are. It's about voting for the strongest catalyst of change that empowers you to make a difference.
The IFP isn't waiting for our time in government to prove how good we are. For twenty years we have worked with the mandate of the electorate to influence governance; through the Government of National Unity, through the governance of KwaZulu Natal, as the official opposition in this province, and as the third largest party at the national level. We have been catalysts of change. We have been very effective warriors of democracy.
Our team in the National Assembly has changed the way things are done in Parliament. One of our greatest champions, the Honourable Dr Mario Ambrosini, took on the Speaker of the National Assembly in the Constitutional Court to challenge the Rules of Parliament. The Rules barred individual MPs from introducing draft legislation, allowing only Ministers to do so – effectively, only the ruling party.
In a two year battle of litigation, Dr Ambrosini never backed down, for he was fighting on behalf of every MP to represent their constituency's interests.
Against the odds, he won.
Because an IFP MP had the courage of his convictions, any Member of Parliament can now table legislation for Parliament to consider.
The IFP was the first to do so, with Dr Ambrosini introducing the National Credit Act Amendment Bill. This Bill sought to legislate against credit providers accumulating enormous interest charges from people under debt review.
It garnered such widespread support that Government felt pressurised into adopting the idea into its own legislation.
In other words, the IFP served the people so well, that Government was forced to follow.
That has happened many times before. Consider the roll out of anti-retrovirals under an IFP-led Government in KwaZulu Natal. It was so effective in saving lives of newborn babies that we were able to challenge national government to do the same. We didn't balk at going to the Constitutional Court on that occasion either, and the Constitutional Court ordered government to do as the IFP was doing.
Then there are the many examples of municipal IDPs, or Integrated Development Plans, which were developed by the IFP in municipalities across KwaZulu Natal, and which are still being implemented by those who took these municipalities through a political coalition. They recognise the value of what the IFP designed and they know there is nothing better they could offer.
But it takes more than good policies to create growth, stability and prosperity. It takes a leadership of integrity that knows how to implement good policy, and how to adjust to accommodate future needs.
The IFPs value is hard to ignore. Even our political opponents recognise it. Another of our MPs, the Honourable Mr Ben Skosana, gave such remarkable leadership in Parliament that he was appointed House Chairperson of the National Assembly, presiding over members' interests for every party represented in Parliament.
Our leaders are trusted and admired. We are emulated and give an example worth following. We are not a party of critics that create animosity and friction among South Africans. We are a constructive opposition, leading the way to positive change.
Because that is what our county deserves. It's what you deserve.
The IFP has listened to your concerns. We've felt the heartbeat of our nation, and we have responded with a manifesto of commitments that echoes what South Africa needs.
Now we must pass the torch onto this generation. There are young leaders in the IFP who are steeped in the values, ideals and vision of the warriors of freedom, and who work in their own right as warriors of democracy. We are proud of these leaders and we know they can take South Africa into the next era. They have the capacity to make this country great.
This is not about starting a revolution of violent protest, but a revolution of goodwill; a revolution that has the power to create peace, reconciliation, stability and growth.
I urge you to join us as we open a new chapter for South Africa. We ask you to the polls on the 7th of May and to cast your vote for the IFP. You will be voting for a party already hard at work, fulfilling goals and setting the standard. You will be voting for a party of integrity, experience and action.
The power to start a revolution of goodwill begins with you. It begins with your vote for the IFP.
The power is yours!