IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi addressed supporters at the Makhado Showground in Limpopo, ahead of the August 3 municipal elections.

Makhado – Corruption and weak leadership have taken a toll on good governance in South Africa, Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said on Saturday.

Addressing IFP supporters at the Makhado Showground in Limpopo, he said the effects could be seen by reading the auditor general’s reports on government at every level.

From national departments to local municipalities red flags were continually raised over unauthorised, irregular, fruitless, and wasteful spending. There was a lack of skills, integrity, and political will to ensure efficient financial management. Moreover, there was tender fraud, cadre deployment, nepotism, and outright theft, he said.

“It is you that pays the price. When funds are misallocated, stolen, or mismanaged, service delivery suffers. If we want to turn this around, the only way to do that is to install a leadership of integrity. It is only when honesty, sound values, and servant leadership govern, that needs are properly met.

“People are ready to change their vote, because leaders can only fail you that many times before you say enough is enough,” Buthelezi said.

The governing African National Congress knew this. And their competitors knew it. Thus the campaign for the August 3 municipal elections was fierce.

“You will have political firebrands coming here and stirring up emotions, pretending that more protest and more destruction will get you what you need. There will be people you don’t know claiming they can do a better job. And there will also be leaders from government, bringing you food parcels and promises, asking you to keep waiting and keep voting for a party that has failed you.

“It makes my blood boil when the ruling party abuses state resources to campaign for votes. It is despicable to prey on the needs and vulnerability of struggling people by suddenly providing services or bringing gifts when it’s time for another election. I always tell people to accept the gifts, because they were bought with your own money. But don’t believe that you need to surrender your vote for a food parcel or blankets. Your vote is your voice. Don’t let anyone buy it,” he said.

No matter what they promised for the future, the track record of the past spoke louder. Under a democratic government, South Africa should not have one of the highest rates of unemployment in the world and millions of citizens living in poverty.

Government had a responsibility to create jobs, ensure development, alleviate poverty, provide quality education, protect the vulnerable, and meet people’s basic needs. The IFP had been in government at a national, provincial, and local level.

“We have fulfilled these responsibilities, and we have done so with excellence. We have a track record that speaks for itself, so that anyone wanting to know why they should choose the IFP need only consider the clean, efficient, and inclusive governance we have already provided.”

The IFP could be trusted to, among other things, drive good governance in every municipality, make job creation the number one priority of all IFP municipalities, loosen the grip of corruption and restore integrity and accountability to leadership, speed up the provision of decent housing without red tape, illegal tenders, or false promises, and to respect the rule of law and create security in communities, Buthelezi said.

African News Agency