Young people have a crucial contribution to make to the success of South Africa, Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said on Sunday.
“It is deeply worrying that so few young people turn up on election day. Do you realise that if you do not vote, someone else is going to choose for you? Do not leave it in someone else’s hands. If you want a voice, stand up and use it. Staying away from polling stations does not send a protest message to government,” he told an IFP election rally in Brits in the North West.
Buthelezi was well received on his first elections visit to the North West, with drum majorettes ushering him into the hall as IFP supporters stood up and chanted while he walked to the podium.
“I want to see young people flood the polling stations on the 8th of May. We need that energy to sustain the work that lies ahead,” Buthelezi said.
He called on IFP supporters not to be misled by the election manifestos of other parties. “There are some manifestos out there that will never be implemented because they were not designed to be implemented. They were just designed to capture your vote.
“They talk about creating an El Dorado overnight, but the socialist policies they offer are unworkable. Tragically, South African youth are being fed these old socialist policies. By the time they realise that they have been led down the garden path they will have suffered tremendous disappointment, disillusionment, and heartache,” Buthelezi said.
The IFP’s vision for SA was an inclusive economy. “This is about human dignity. We need to get our nation working to alleviate poverty, redress inequalities, empower families, and fulfil the rightful aspiration of all people.”
Buthelezi took a swipe at the ANC, saying not one of the former IFP premiers or MECs had been accused of corruption. However, during former president Jacob Zuma’s tenure South Africans had became increasingly aware of corruption, maladministration, and incompetency within the country’s leadership.
“When he was finally replaced by President Ramaphosa, there was a collective sigh of relief. We wanted, more than anything, to believe what President Ramaphosa told us – that South Africa has entered a new dawn.
“But then came the commission of inquiry into state capture, and commission of inquiry into the Public Investment Corporation, and Mr Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s book Gangsters State. It has left us reeling at the depth of the rot, and we have had to face the truth that the ruling party has not changed. It is still the same people doing the same thing for the same reason,” Buthelezi said.
If the ANC had really moved away from corruption, there would already have been arrests and convictions of senior leaders over the past. “Instead, we have seen press statements trying to convince us that any ANC leader, no matter how senior, does not represent the ANC when they commit an act of corruption. Apparently they do it in their own capacity,” he said.
The IFP’s election slogan “Trust Us” was born out of a desire to give South Africans hope. “[So] you can trust us to get the economy working, you can trust us to promote social cohesion, you can trust us to be tough on crime, and you can trust us to fight gender-based violence … ,” Buthelezi said.
IFP North West provincial organiser Grace Phaswana said it had not been easy to organise the first IFP rally in the province, and people had asked why a “Zulu party” was being brought to the province. But now that the IFP’s national leadership had visited the North West, supporters were determined to canvass votes for the IFP in the North West.
– African News Agency (ANA)