IFP leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi greets his supporters at the launch of the party's elections 2019 manifesto at Chatsworth Stadium. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency/ANA
IFP leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi greets his supporters at the launch of the party's elections 2019 manifesto at Chatsworth Stadium. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency/ANA

#Elections2019: Everything you need to know about the IFP

By Elections Team Time of article published Mar 14, 2019

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Name of Party: Inkatha Freedom Party

Year Launched: 1975

Party Leader: Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi

What it believes: The party says it exists as a political party to serve the people of South Africa, and to do so in the spirit of ubuntu/botho. Its primary purpose is to serve, and it contests elections and seeks power in order to serve the people by addressing their needs. 

The IFP says they are servants, not masters, of the people. It recognises ubuntu/botho as the foundation of all human interaction. "Because we are who we are only through our interaction with others, we respect everyone and treat everyone with compassion and empathy, and in a manner that recognises their intrinsic human dignity."

Previous notable leaders: Ninety-year-old leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi has been at the helm of the party since its inception. He is expected to hand over the leadership of the party after the May 8 elections.

History in a nutshell: Inkatha was founded at KwaNzimela, outside Melmoth, on the 21st of March 1975 under the leadership of Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. From 1976 to 1994 Buthelezi served as Chief Minister of KwaZulu. On the 14th July 1990 at a special conference in Ulundi, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) came into being. After the first democratic elections in 1994, Buthelezi became the Minister of Home Affairs. In 1994, the IFP took control of KwaZulu-Natal, securing 41 seats in its 81-member legislature, and 43 in the 400-seat national assembly

Praised for: Untainted by allegations of corruption when it ran the KZN legislature for five years. Diversity in leadership.

Damned for: As the 1994 elections neared, the IFP threatened to pull out of the process and demanded autonomy for the Zulu king, greater provincial powers and the creation of provincial ballots. It only returned to the process when it became clear the most radical demands would be met.

Party icons: Leader: Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi; Chief Whip and Treasurer General: Narend Singh; Spokesperson, National Chairperson Youth Brigade: Mkhuleko Hlengwa.

The IFP's position on:

LAND: On the land issue, the party remains steadfast that land expropriation should take place but on condition that there is compensation. The part wants the administration of communal land to remain in the hands of the people ‘under the custodianship of traditional leadership, with the provincial governments providing support to traditional leaders and emerging farmers and elevating them to a state of commercial farming’.

CORRUPTION: The party believes that corruption, especially in government, coupled with inefficiency and apathy, has eroded the capacity of government to deliver on its most immediate mandates. ‘As a result the most vulnerable amongst us have been robbed of opportunities for development and advancement."

STATE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT: In reference to KZN, IFP MPL Blessed Gwala described the ANC as failing by making empty promises. They are “telling the people how they have changed, how things will get better, but these are the same hollow words we have all heard before. We are living in a broken province, which is in urgent need of fixing and of total change”, he said.

GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE: The party wants special courts to deal with Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and specially-trained SAPS officers to deal with GBV must be available at all police station. The party wants to introduce a gender equality module as part of the school curriculum, increase financial support to Chapter Nine Institutions such as the Commission for Gender Equality and prioritise the salaries of Banyana Banyana players

ENVIRONMENT: On the environment, the party said it would criminalise all forms of canned hunting or captive bred lion hunting.

STATE OF THE SOEs: Party leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi believes that privatisation of the SOEs is the way to go stating: “Margaret Thatcher, took the decision to privatise state-owned enterprises in Britain. It became a turning point for the economy in Britain”.

FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION: The party believes there is a need for the development of high-tech classrooms-of-the-future where all learners are introduced to the skills needed for future work placement.

CRIME: On crime the party said it will reopen the debate on the reinstatement of the death penalty as a means to deter violent crime and increased minimum sentences with hard labour for criminals. It also promises the creation of specialised courts and specialised police units to deal with corruption, sexual and gender-based violence, gangs and drugs. The party believes the South African Police Service needs to be decentralised, with policing powers Being handed from national to provincial and local authorities.

SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: The party is focused on an inclusive economy. It wants to do this by focussing on local economic development, Supporting small businesses and public/private partnerships. The party wants an unemployment register in every municipality, to match job seekers to available jobs. “Through the establishment of a Department of Youth and Job Creation, strategies can be put in place to assist both job seekers and the workforce to overcome obstacles, like lack of transport.” Lowering the cost of data is seen as integral to this plan.

HOUSING: The party wants to establishing Housing Support Centres in communities and Build quality, dignified single and family units. It also want to ensure that profits from housing projects are reinvested in the community. It also aims to ensure contractors produce work of acceptable quality and use materials of approved standards and wants to punish contractors for poorly built houses. It wants to root out corruption on the housing waiting list. 

* Compiled by Kuben Chetty

** For more stories on the upcoming elections visit IOL's #Elections2019 trend page.

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