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IFP launches its 10-point ‘people-orientated’, ‘solutions-driven’ election manifesto

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) on Thursday launched its 10-point local government elections manifesto, a plan which it said is people-orientated and solutions driven.

IFP President Velenkosini Hlabisa said first on the party’s plan is that it will lead with integrity, with every councillor candidate expected to sign a contract of good governance which they will commit to once elected.

Secondly, the IFP plans to empower the people in the communities it will govern, Hlabisa said, elaborating that this it will do by creating opportunities, in particular, for young people, women and people living with disabilities.

Skills development and training; awarding study bursaries to the poor; prioritizing South Africans for jobs and creating jobs where people are through localisation, industrialization and beneficiation is what the official opposition party in KwaZulu-Natal intends to do, Hlabisa said.

“We will create food security,” Hlabisa said, listing the third point in the party’s plan.

This, Hlabisa said, will be done by supporting subsistence farmers to promote local economic development and assisting co-operatives.

Furthermore, the IFP promises to prioritize the rights and needs of farm workers; support and promote the sustainable use of land, which the party will ensure is accessible, and it wants to reposition the country’s agricultural sector so it can compete favourably and increase its regional and international supply, Hlabisa said.

Fourthly, the IFP will partner with traditional leaders who are often ignored by the African National Congress (ANC), Hlabisa said, adding that these leaders have a significant role to play in the developmental agenda.

Its fifth pledge, the party leader said, is that the IFP commits to making communities safer by, among other solutions mentioned by Hlabisa, strengthening law enforcement, resourcing community policing forums (CPFs) and enforcing stricter border controls to curb cross border crimes and the movement of undocumented persons.

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The IFP also commits to protecting women, children and members of the LGBTQI+ community, Hlabisa said.

Sixth on its plan is a pledge to build houses, roads and transport systems, fix potholes, tar gravel roads, deal with water pipe leakages and fix drainage systems and overflowing sewers, Hlabisa said.

Ensuring that there are well equipped clinics staffed with professionals, in particular, in rural areas is the IFP’s seventh point on its plan, Hlabisa said, adding that municipal nurses will be employed and municipal ambulance services will be established.

Eighth on the IFP’s plan is to provide clean water and the party will invest in infrastructure and ensuring it is maintained, Hlabisa said.

“The IFP can fix [load shedding],” Hlabisa said when listing the party’s ninth point on its plan, which is to provide electricity.

The IFP is proud that two of the municipalities it governs in KwaZulu-Natal, namely, Abaqulusi and Mthonjaneni, have managed to pay up their debt to Eskom, Hlabisa said.

“Where the IFP governs, the IFP makes it happen,” the party president said.

Lastly, the party pledges to “build the next generation” and “continue to build for the future” by ensuring there are registered early childhood development centres, sports fields, awarding bursaries to poor learners and providing sanitary products to school going women that need them, Hlabisa said.

The leader of the fourth largest political party in South Africa urged South Africans to vote for the IFP in the upcoming local government elections because it is “not making empty promises”.

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