IFP's Mkhuleko Hlengwa answers questions about everything from canned hunting to tenderpreneurs

2019-05-06 11:30

IFP's Mkhuleko Hlengwa answers your questions ahead of the elections. It's a live, online interview led entirely by YOU as a citizen!

IFP member Mkhuleko Hlengwa.

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Last Updated at 10:22
06 May 13:09

And that's a wrap from our conversation with the IFP's Mkhuleko Hlengwa. 

Later on Monday afternoon we will give you the opportunity to talk with the DA's leader Mmusi Maimane. That happens at 16:00.

06 May 13:08

Hlengwa's final words: 

Thank you to all South Africans who have taken time to listen to us, in malls, at taxi ranks and in your homes. The IFP believes the country will move forward thanks to a national discussion. It is a strength of our democracy that we can talk. But I want to condemn political violence and killings. It is backward and regressive. Where we govern we get things done, we have a track-record to back it up. IF you look at the dark day of HIV denialism it was the IFP that went to court. We've  built colleges of education where we govern. We've built over 6 000 schools where we have governed. We are a voice of reason in a sea of chaos. We are able to take the forgotten corners of this country and put them in the middle. We can ensure healthcare, jobs and dignity. We have restored dignity to women. We are the only party that has worked hard for South Africans. We have been at the receiving end of stereotypes and propaganda. But in 2016 we came back after we were condemned in 2014. We are a party for all South Africans. And I want to thank the media, who have helped carry our democracy. But report fairly and correctly. On May 8, go and vote IFP, we are SA's only hope. Trust us. 

06 May 13:01

Sheldon Morais (News24); Given your time in parliament, what have you learnt in the last session?

Hlengwa: I've had the privilege to serve in parliament since 2012 when I was 24, my formative years were spent to improve my skills as MP. It has been necessary and the IFP saw it as an investment. Our top-5 have three people below the age of 40 because we are concerned about the lack of young voices. What have I learnt? In private MPs are very keen to compromise and move forward...but in private. I have learnt that it is possible to build relationships across the aisle. And look at the public accounts committee...where we work together, you won't know who is from which party. The challenge now is to ensure that MPs understand they are not an extension of the executive. Ministers must be able to defend themselves. MPs must hold them to account. In general parliament is judged by what happens in the plenary. That's a pity.

06 May 12:58
Hlengwa: You're paying a lot of money for the levy, just last week there was an increase. We called for a parliamentary debate, the ANC said no, there were some unpleasant exchange of letters. We will continue to make the call. It is a crisis. We will continue to make the call for a suspension of the fuel levy. South Africans must vote out the ANC. 

06 May 12:50

Interesting facts about the IFP:

The IFP maintains that it is the only party to be trusted, with more than 40 years of experience and honest, good leadership. It has seen a decline in support since its glory days in 1994, but after a splinter group, the National Freedom Party, failed to make a showing, the IFP is making a comeback. Not only is it growing in its home province of KwaZulu-Natal, but has shown similar signs in parts of Gauteng.

06 May 11:36

Tough on crime

The IFP says it will begin a national debate on reinstating the death penalty to deter crime, as well as increasing minimum sentences for violent crimes and imposing "hard labour" on prisoners. It aims to empower traditional leaders, so they can assist with civil disputes.

06 May 11:32
The IFP is bidding farewell to its founder and only leader since inception, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. The 90-year-old will not be returning to Parliament after the election and will instead retire from political life.

05 May 20:43

What is the IFP doing about canned lion hunting and the trophy hunting industry? The IFP has been the only party to speak out about these shocking practices but would like to know what steps are being taken to outlaw these practices? - Grant Halliday

Hlengwa: We've interacted with the very stubborn ANC government on this, and we hope to work on this further. We will introduce a private members' bill in parliament, our legal department is working on it as we speak. Tourism is very important, but it cannot be to the detriment of wildlife resources. My son is seven, I want him to see lions one day.

05 May 19:46

What support can the LGBTQ+ community expect to see if they were to side with the IFP? - @tima_adams00, Instagram

Hlengwa: South Africans need to stand together. Why is it anybody's business about who is dating whom? We must be invested in jobs and access and education. Hillary Clinton once said women's rights are human rights. I will amend that to say that LGBTQ+ rights are human rights, and vice versa.

05 May 19:39

How will the IFP ensure transformation of our economy is not hijacked by tenderpreneurs? - Hilton Layman

Hlengwa: Ordinarily the IFP would do away with tenders. It isn't business. Hands are greased. The problem is, we need to create jobs. Why don't we use locals to build houses or clean government buildings? We must insource those functions. We want the public adjudication of tenders. If we could it would be a giant step forward. We have seen the rise of fronting, much to the detriment of legitimate beneficiaries. We will phase them out and have them in areas here it is absolutely necessary. We can't have a universal tender approach.

05 May 19:32

05 May 19:31

How does he feel about bringing back the death sentence for murderers and rapists? - Janet Lindup Longman

Hlengwa: There needs to be a national discourse about this. Ultimately we want a referendum. But there needs to be a discussion about it first. Otherwise we end up in a Brexit situation. The high instance of child abuse, rapes and murders...at some point we need to bite the bullet. I mean, repeat offenders, who say prisons are nice, because we've made it nice...we spend more on prisoners...At first I was uneasy about it, but the more you look into it, the more you drill into it you realise its necessary. The death penalty...its personal relief for victims. 

05 May 19:28

Hlengwa: There's no discussion yet. We will when necessary have those interactions with other parties. In 2010 for example we interacted with the ANC, it did not materialise in any governance agreement, they were busy with their NFP project, which was a dismal failure. We have in the past worked with the DA, and also the ANC. We are mature about the need to interact when discussing coalitions. Should the need arise we are duty bound, as are all political parties, to talk. What won't we budge on? Rigidity is very dangerous. Economy, society and politics are fluid. We need to be able to respond to the situation. For example, we believe in expropriation with compensation and believe section 25 is adequate. We will not therefore support anything other than that. We believe the land issue has been handled badly. The question then is: do you sit outside or inside the system? But we will not let provinces collapse. We will not work with anyone for example who wants to violate human rights, given that we worked so hard. Some things we will not compromise on, like parties who seek to divide on the basis of race.

05 May 19:22

As a young white male in South Africa I am concerned with everything that is happening in the country at the moment with land reform and BEE etc... How will you or how can you ensure the safety and security of all races in South Africa and assure me that my future as a South African will not be in jeopardy? – Thomas Stacey

Hlengwa: I think all of us as a a country must take a moment and reflect of the highly charged race politics that has characterised our politics. It has made us uneasy. No citizen must feel uneasy. When talking about the past, we must not talk about taking things away. We have decided as a country to reconcile. And until we rescind that, and it would be a pity, we subscribe to that. The IFP does not subscribe to the politics of hate. What we need to do is to uplift the previously disadvantaged. We must build new wealth, create jobs, look at education. 

05 May 19:20

How do you propose to manage the Trade Unions? They have destroyed most of the mines and private businesses.  The have destroyed, burnt millions of rands worth of capital equipment throughout the country.  They are the major cause of joblessness in RSA. – Keith

Hlengwa: Cannot throw out baby with the bathwater, unions are an integral part of labour and society. If a union is going to behave in a manner that takes away jobs...it is in their interest to have the economy grow. A problem is the politicisation of unions, you see unions that are unashamedly in alliance with political parties. That blurs the lines. We must make sure workers are taken care of. 

05 May 19:18

What is IFP policy regarding our South African borders? - Mzwabantu Ndinisa, Facebook

Hlengwa: If yo uare in SA you must be here legally. We have borders and they need to be respected and protected. If people are not monitored it impacts on crime and the fiscus. The border management that the IFP is looking at looks at crime, theft, human trafficking. Look at stick theft, too. It is about the security of SA assets and people. Drugs are a masive headache. Prince Burhelezi, when he was minister of home affairs, sought to achieve these very things. And that's why he was chucked out of Cabinet. 

05 May 19:17
Hlengwa: No, if you say one language you kill culture and tradition. What we should be doing is learning languages and culture. We're like a salad, with tomato and olives, when all of that comes together it is edible. We must be tolerant and learn from each other. One caveat: we must move away from tribal and ethnic based politics, so-called minority politics. We must carry the interests of everybody on our shoulders. We must be realistic that we come from past of racial division and take not of the needs of the previously oppressed. And the responsibility is also that of people who enjoyed privilege. 

05 May 19:14

Do you have a women's league and a youth league? - Thera Manata, Facebook

Hlengwa: Yes, we do have the IFP Youth Brigade and a Women's Brigade, along with the main party it forms the three wings of the party.

05 May 19:12

Does democracy exist in the IFP? Why is an old fragile person still leading the party? - Steven Jones, Facebook

Hlengwa: Democracy, in politics 101, its politics for the people, by the people and for the people. Let is desist from myopic politics of age. There is a wealth of experience. Prince Buthelezi is a wealth of knowledge, grooming leadership and holding the centre. He is on top of his game, clear about what the current situation in SA is. Lets move away from the politics of denigrating people. I interact with him and his stamina is well within range...I am pretty confident in him. Let me point out, one lessin, Prince Buthelezi has shown us how to take care of your health, he is fit, and in a era where fast foods have become the norm...he is very healthy.

05 May 19:11

I would like to know what the IFP is going to reduce high employment especially to youth and graduates that been praying, trying hard to find the job but nothing. - Goodman Biyela

Hlengwa: We need to go to the basics, which means investment in to small business. All jobs and jobs creation is local. We have rolled out small business development initiatives where we govern. We need to creat new skills, knowledge and expertise. This weekend I was at Nkandla, where we govern, and there's an event called the Nkandla Met, along the lines of the big horseraces. And the purpose is to unearth talent. It is growing and creating jobs. If you go to Nkandla now, compared to five, ten years ago, there's a difference, because we have made concerted effort to create jobs. Our focus is on local economic development. This must be linked to education. Finally, incubation of small businesses, research tells us small businesses don't survive beyond two years. 

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