Durban - A large number of IFP members braved the rain on Sunday to attend the final IFP rally at Magabheni sports ground near eMkhomazi (Umkomaas) south of eThekwini, ahead of the ward 99 by-election on Wednesday.
IFP president emeritus, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, delivered the keynote address in which he pledged the party’s commitment to listen to the plight of local residents.
Buthelezi said ward 99 residents needed their voice heard and this could only be possible through the polls.
“Magabheni is very close to my heart, because it was established under my leadership as chief minister of the then KwaZulu Government. We established this township to enable people to live closer to where they worked, at the massive industry that is now known as Sappi. Today Magabheni is a microcosm of KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa, with people of different cultures and backgrounds peacefully coexisting,” the senior statesman told the crowd.
IFP president Velenkosini Hlabisa said a change in leadership was needed in ward 99.
“The IFP leadership has resolved to postpone its regular National Executive Committee meeting, just to be with you during these by-elections. Your vote is crucial, it is your ticket to total emancipation from the ANC corrupt government,” said the IFP president.
He noted how residents had become the primary focus of leaders from other parties with a series of government activities taking place in the area ahead of the elections.
“If they give you groceries, take it! If they give you money, take it, after all this is your tax money,” Hlabisa said.
IFP KwaZulu-Natal chairperson, Thami Ntuli, said that the IFP would bring service delivery to the ward 99 community with their candidate, who knew the area quite well and the challenges facing community members.
“Jane Naidoo is not a stranger in this ward, she has done a lot of charity work in this area. This community will recall a few occasions where she has graded a road to give access to a bereaved family who had lost a family member and incurred the expenses of the funeral.
“She is popular for her philanthropic work, feeding the poor. She has done this from her pocket without any form of assistance.’’
Ntuli added that a stand pipe had been installed in the ward so that locals who previously did not have water could access it.