IFP takes provincial manifesto launch to party founder’s hometown

The IFP has chosen to take its provincial manifesto launch to Ulundi, in the north of the province, as part of its aggressive campaign to snatch power from the ANC.

“We are serious when we say that the IFP will [win] KZN,” said Thamsanqa Ntuli, the IFP’s premier candidate and party chairperson in KwaZulu-Natal.

“The citizens of this province yearn for the IFP government because they know we are capable of it. There’s no other better place to launch our campaign than Ulundi.

“We will draw inspiration from our founder, uMntwana wakaPhindangene [Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi]. We are grateful for the support that people have shown us so far.” 

He said the 2021 municipal elections, where the party dislodged the ANC in various councils, had given the IFP firepower to cause an upset in the May 29 general elections.

uMkhonto weSizwe is not a threat

“We are not worried about the threat of the uMkhonto weSizwe Party [MKP]. They have nothing new to offer voters.

“In municipalities where we govern, people are seeing real changes in their lives. Gone are the days of political rhetoric and false promises. People want jobs and a corrupt-free government.”

Besides Ulundi being the home of Buthelezi, the IFP’s late founder, the area was once the capital of the province during the IFP’s rule.

Being the heart of the AmaZulu throne, Ulundi also holds a rich heritage and is also home to various royal palaces.

Furthermore, it is a symbol of resistance, where resistance was waged against colonial forces who wanted to hound black people off their land.

Ntuli poured cold water on the assertion by IFP opponents that, under the IFP government, KwaZulu-Natal had been lagging behind in terms of development.

He believes that the party had a good story to tell when it occupied the top echelons of power in the province.

Immigration laws

“Any claims that the IFP failed when it governed this province would be fallacious and baseless,” Ntuli said.

“The IFP government built all the infrastructure you see around KZN, including hundreds of schools and public institutions.”

Among the promises that the party has put on top of its agenda is introducing strict immigration laws, which will ensure that South Africans are prioritised for employment.

It also says the so-called informal economy, such as spaza shops and street vending, will only be reserved for South Africans.

According to the IFP, foreign nationals will only be absorbed into industries with scarce skills, and those who are already in the country will have to reapply for residency.

This, according to the IFP, will allow the party to clean out the asylum seeker system, which is often riddled with corruption and fraud.

Traditional leaders get special attention

Other proposals include increasing the pass rate in the basic education system from 30% to 50% and introducing skills-based curricula in primary and secondary schools.

The IFP also wants traditional leaders, such as amakhosi and izinduna (chiefs and herdmen), to be key structures of government and receive the same benefits as public office bearers.

The party also intends to increase salaries for police officers and lure young people to the agricultural value chain.

The 49-year-old party is the official opposition party in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature. It previously led the province under three premiers – Frank Mdlalose, Ben Ngubane, and Lionel Mtshali.

The manifesto launch will be held on Sunday at the Prince Mangosuthu Regional Stadium. It follows the national launch, which was held at a packed Moses Mabhida Stadium in February. 

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