Gauteng Launch of the IFP’s Election Manifesto for the 2024 National and Provincial Elections

Apr 14, 2024 | Press Releases

As a patriot and a proud South African, I cannot think of a better place to be right now than here in the beating heart of our democracy. Here in Gauteng, the future of South Africa is about to be decided. We are here today because of May 29th.

On 10 March 2024, we launched our National manifesto in Moses Mabhida Stadium where we tabled a 13-point plan solution to South Africa’s challenges. Today , we are here in Gauteng to bring the 13 – point plan closer to the people of this province. We are here today to talk directly to the people of Gauteng about challenges they face daily but not only to lament or criticize and end there. Today, we will share the solutions the IFP have for the people of Gauteng and our country.

As we today, here in Germiston stadium to talk about the state of affairs in our country, it is during the very important year in which on 29 May 2024, 27.6 million voters in South Africa will go to the voting stations to decide who will be the next government of our country and the province of Gauteng. Here in Gauteng, the responsibility to elect the new government on 29 May 2024 is on the shoulders of 6.5 million voters.

It is these voters who must save this great and once beautiful province. As you are gathered here, you are part of these 6.5 million voters and the responsibility to make the right choices is upon you.

Since Tuesday until yesterday, together with the leaders of Gauteng I physically visited various communities in Ekurhuleni ( KwaThema, Katlehong, Vosloorus, Thokoza ), Kagiso , Rand West, Merafong, Vaal, George Goch, TUT Garankuwa Campus, Helen Joseph Women’s hostel and Soweto to witness the real life challenges our people experience daily. The situation is bad. The infrastructure is broken down poverty is evident in many places of this province.

On May 29th, votes from across the country will place leaders in power and remove those who have failed. But nowhere in South Africa will more votes be cast, than here in Gauteng. It is here that our country has the highest concentration of registered voters, making Gauteng the centre of possibility. More than anywhere else, South Africa’s change must be birthed from Gauteng.

If there is a word to define 2024, that word is “change”. Throughout the world, 2024 is the year of elections. For the first time in history, almost half the world’s population will go to the polls this year as elections are held in 64 countries.

In South Africa, history is being made as well, for we have the longest ballot paper we have ever had, with no fewer than 325 political parties contesting the May 29th elections. 27,6 million voters have the largest array of choices ever placed before you.

Thirty years ago, in 1994, when South Africans first cast their votes in a democratic election, the mere right to vote was enough to bring 20 million people to the polling stations. Almost 87% of voters turned out to vote, because for many it was the first time in our country’s history that participation was possible.

After thirty years, however, we have become used to democracy and we take many of our rights for granted. Of course, we have not forgotten the sacrifices made by past generations; by our own parents and grandparents. For those of us born before 1994, we have not forgotten our own struggle. Democracy was hard-won in South Africa. We hold our democratic rights as inviolable.

But with the passage of time, it has become unthinkable for these rights to ever be withheld. They seem, by now, almost common sense; the most basic entitlement of every human being. In many ways, that kind of thinking is good, for it shows the entrenchment of social justice in the psyche of our nation. On the flip side, however, is makes us passive. We live today under the very wrong assumption that our rights will never be violated.

Tragically, the mere right to vote is no longer enough to bring voters to the ballot box. And the plethora of choices is almost paralysing, leaving voters unsure of their own decision-making. This is why we have seen voter turnout decline so dramatically, and why, in 2024, the greatest threat to democracy is that voters might simply not vote.

I have come to you today with this message because I believe that you need to hear the truth. The right to vote is not just something you’re entitled to, that you can use or not use depending on your mood on election day. No: your vote holds value. It gives you power. It is both a weapon and a tool, protecting you from injustice and enabling you to build your future. The single most powerful thing you can do to change your circumstances, is to vote.

We did not fight for the right to vote for the sake of principle only. We fought for this right because, through our votes, we can change the policies, laws and governing principles of our country. We can fundamentally shape how things are done, and decide the course of governance.

Our votes determine whether the economy will grow or remain stagnant. Our votes decide whether jobs are created, or unemployment spreads. Our votes ensure that safety and security are prioritised, or that crime consumes our nation. Everything, from education to energy, from healthcare to houses; everything is shaped by our votes.

I want you to know this truth, because I want you to understand that the power of change is in your hands. There are politicians in our country who would have you believe that your vote is nothing more than a means to line their pockets. The endless string of scandals and tales of corruption have opened a massive trust deficit between you and your elected representatives. So, when politicians come to ask for your votes, it seems the only reason they want your vote is to keep themselves in power.

The truth, however, is that your vote is not about feeding politicians. It’s about putting people in charge who have the capacity, the skills, and the integrity to serve you. If you want to punish politicians for failing you, don’t withhold your vote. Actively vote against them. Hit them where it hurts, so that they’ll know they messed with the wrong people!

Faced with the 2024 elections, and with the power to change our country, we all need to make a conscious decision. We need to decide to vote, and we need to choose our leaders wisely.

Many of you have already decided to vote IFP. To you I can only say, well done. You have chosen the best possible leadership to take on the task of rebuilding our country. Today, you will hear many reasons why voting for the IFP is the right decision. Your good decision will be confirmed many times over. Do something extra: canvass the people of S.A, 14 Million dormant voters to stand up, participate and go to the Voting stations and protest through the ballot box and remove the government that has failed.

And I know why you have chosen the IFP. It is not on the basis of our promises, or on the flashiness of our campaign. It is not because we put up the most posters, or even because we filled the Moses Mabhida Stadium with 75 000 people who are all calling on the IFP to govern KwaZulu-Natal again.

You have chosen the IFP because you know us. Because you Trust Us. Because we have walked a long road together, building South Africa and putting South Africans first. You have seen the integrity of the IFP; how we do what we say we will do, when we say we will do it. You have seen our ability to administer governance, and you have witnessed the good results wherever the IFP is present.

The IFP is tried and tested, and we have given you reason after reason to Trust Us. For almost fifty years we have served you, working hand in hand to ease the burden of daily life and to build a kinder tomorrow. The IFP is about the bread-and-butter issues that you and your families face. We are about putting food on the table, getting children into schools, keeping a roof over your head, and ensuring that you will have help whenever you need it.

We understand that these are the issues our Government should care about. But the issues that preoccupy this Government have nothing to do with helping South Africans. Their focus is on things like supporting Russia when Russia invades Ukraine, or whether they should sponsor a British football club to the tune of a billion Rand, or how they can use their parliamentary majority to get rid of reports that implicate them in corruption.

No wonder our country is suffering! The IFP’s Founder, the late Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, always told us that the fish rots from the head. That is true. The rot within the ruling elite runs deep, and it is poisoning the whole of South Africa.

There is no doubt whatsoever that change is needed. But it matters tremendously what kind of change we bring in 2024. The IFP stands ready to rebuild South Africa. We stand for the 2024 elections as a government-in-waiting, knowing that the IFP’s leadership and the IFP’s influence is desperately needed in the administration of our provinces and the administration of our country.

The IFP intends to lead KwaZulu-Natal after May 29th. And we intend to become a powerful part of the Government of Gauteng, and of the Government of South Africa, so that those who have failed you can finally be dismissed. The IFP is willing to work with anyone who shares our vision and principles, who is willing to be held accountable, and who accepts the high standards of the IFP as the absolute benchmark for service delivery.

Our goal is to give you, the people of Gauteng, a government that actually works. That is the only kind of government the IFP delivers. We are so committed to this goal that we have developed a manifesto laying out the 13 most pressing issues that the IFP will attend to when we are in Government. These are issues on which we are already working, and on which we have had remarkable success.

Our 13 – points are our commitment to rebuild South Africa and Gauteng. They are captured in the IFP’s election manifesto, which I urge you to read and reread as we approach the elections. I want you to understand the IFP’s principles and the IFP’s commitment. I want you to know the IFP’s track record, so that, when you cast your vote on May 29th, you will vote IFP with enthusiasm. Take this manifesto back to your communities, read together and clarify it to your friends, other youth, women and all other key stakeholders

The IFP is asking you to Trust Us to get you working; Trust Us to keep you safe; Trust Us to put South Africa first; Trust Us for a secure energy future; Trust Us to equip and empower you; Trust Us for help when you need it; Trust Us for safe and dignified homes; Trust Us for service delivery; Trust Us for a functioning transport system; Trust Us to respect traditional structures of governance; Trust Us for a place for you and your family; Trust Us to secure tomorrow.

You deserve a government that serves you with integrity; a government you can trust. We therefore invite you to bring integrity back into government by voting for the IFP.

Let me speak to you for a moment about the IFP’s commitments.

Wherever the IFP governs, we invest in people and infrastructure. We make sure that young people are prepared and equipped to participate in the labour market, so that everyone willing to work can earn an income. We have been doing this for 49 years, by building training colleges, by incentivising businesses to take on interns and have mentorship programmes, by enhancing vocational education at tertiary level, by supporting cooperatives, and by prioritising quality education.

We are doing this work because that’s what is needed to build South Africa and to give quality of life to South Africans. Government has failed in this regard. It is unacceptable that so many Grade 4s still cannot read for meaning, that there are trained teachers sitting at home while there are teaching vacancies, that learners struggle to find places in schools at the start of each year, that many schools still rely on pit latrines, and that the Matric pass mark has had to be lowered to 30% because the standard of education is so poor. Government is setting up our children for failure.

Yet their own children, the children of politicians and the political elite, are educated at private schools and are sent overseas to study. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to inequality.

Those who have been lining their pockets with taxpayers’ money know exactly how bad things are for the people they serve. They know that the healthcare system doesn’t work. That’s why they pay for private medical care. They know that the Police are under-resourced and that crime is out of control. That’s why they pay for private security.

The rich and the political elite in South Africa are able to buffer themselves against the worst crises in our country. But what about the millions upon millions who don’t have those resources? The poor, the vulnerable, the widows and orphans, the youth who cannot find a job, the mother who cannot afford transport to take her child to the clinic, the girl who endures abuse because the justice system is broken, the spaza shop owner who has had to close his doors because the counterfeit goods sold by illegal foreigners are so much cheaper, the grandmother who lies awake at night fearing for her life because only a tin door stands between her and criminals.

This is not the way it should be. We cannot accept it as normal or okay. When taps run dry in rural areas, government officials divert tankers to their own homes. Now taps are running dry even in the middle of cities, in the economic hub of our country. How can there be no water in our taps for days on end, when there is plenty of water in our dams? The answer is simple – a failed Government. Government has not invested in infrastructure or maintained existing infrastructure. It is slow to attend to water leaks. It gives tenders to fly-by-night service providers, pocketing the excess of grossly inflated prices.

The collapse of our water system is following closely on the heels of the energy crisis. I shudder to think that first time voters in 2024 have never known a South Africa without loadshedding. Rolling blackouts have been a reality in South Africa for 17 years. And we have constantly heard promises from Government that it will end within a year, within six months, before Christmas or within some other random timeframe.

We are not fools. It is no coincidence that loadshedding is suddenly decreasing as we head to an election. Are we meant to believe that after 17 years of broken promises, the energy crisis is suddenly over six weeks before elections? The truth is that they’re burning through coal like there’s no tomorrow to make sure the lights stay on. And when crisis hits, as it surely will, we’ll be firmly in the grip of Winter.

How can this Government put lives at risk, caring so little for the people it is meant to serve? They are willing to leave people in the cold and the dark at the worst time of year, for the sake of winning their votes next month. In a country where crime is rampant, the biggest criminals are those who steal from the poor through corruption and ineptitude.

Gauteng is already a very dangerous place. The rate of murder and attempted murder are rapidly increasing here. In the last reporting period, over 91 days, 1 787 people were murdered in this Province. That is more than 19 victims per day, every day. 55 of those victims were children.

Kidnappings and car hijackings are also increasing. In fact, some 33 cars are hijacked every day in Gauteng; 26 women are raped; 129 become victims of assault; and more than 158 are violently robbed. That is daily life in this beautiful Province. And as we are always reminded, those are just the cases that people report. Often crime goes unreported because it has become such a common occurrence and people have lost faith in the ability of the police to assist.

Poverty, joblessness, inequality – all of these struggles are made infinitely more difficult by the daily impossibility of life in a country where Government is failing. It is time, Gauteng, to change the game. It is time to remove the thieves, the slackers, the corrupt and the cadres. It is time to install a new Government. It is time for leaders you can trust.

The IFP has a plan and a track record of delivering. We believe in empowering people towards self-help and self-reliance, which is one of our core philosophies. We also believe that the most vulnerable in our society deserve more care and support.

These are the basic tenets of the IFP’s philosophy. They have remained consistent for almost fifty years, making the IFP a known and trusted leadership within South Africa.

It is time to empower and rebuild our country. It is time to bring back the IFP and to strengthen our voice in Government. I invite you to examine the commitments we have made and to join us as we fight for a future worth living.

 

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