Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Velenkosini Hlabisa has urged residents in Umkhanyakude in KwaZulu-Natal to bring the party back in power saying they’ve lived without water for 10 years.

In an exclusive interview with the SABC ahead of the November first local government elections, Hlabisa lambasted the African National Congress (ANC) for its running of the municipality, saying it is bankrupt.

Last year the district municipality said it needed more than one billion rand to get running tap water to all residents in the area.

Hlabisa says the ANC has made the municipality run down.

“Umkhanyakude is a bankrupt municipality and it was run down by the ANC. It is no secret that monies that went into Umkhanyakude were abused by ANC through corrupt activities, which is a known factor in Umkhanyakude. What the people are feeling, the pinch, living without water. To live without water is a very difficult thing and this was brought to the residents of Umkhanyakude by the ANC. All the civil servants should do, should join the people of Goodwill at Umkhanyakude on the first of November and vote for the IFP. Under a fully led Umkhanyakude, the staff of Umkhanyakude has never reached a stage where they are not paid their salaries but this has been accumulating right from the period when the ANC was in charge because that municipality is literally bankrupt.”

Manifesto launch

On the 30th of September,  Hlabisa launched the party’s election manifesto in Durban, saying the party offers the greatest hope to South Africans to escape what he says is the ANC’s failure to govern, deliver jobs and provide people with security.

Hlabisa said the IFP is the official opposition in KwaZulu-Natal and has a track record of good governance.

He outlined the IFP’s ten-point manifesto,  which includes leading with integrity, empowering ordinary people, ensuring food security, partnerships with traditional leaders and making communities safer.

Hlabisa said the IFP can help South Africans escape the nightmare of the ANC’s rule.

“The IFP has been calling for a specialised corruption court to deal with transgressions of the Public Finance Management Act, the Municipal Finance Act. The IFP will lead with integrity to ensure that our councillors understand and abide by the IFP’s principle of servant leadership. We require every candidate of the IFP to sign a contract of good governance.”

Addressing the launch, former party leader Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi said the IFP will not hesitate to remove councillors who fail to deliver.

“We pride ourselves on fielding councillors candidates who are honest capable and skilled people who understand and accept the discipline demanded by the IFP. We hold ourselves accountable every day because they are our ambassadors they carry the IFP brand in all that they do. We are therefore heavily invested in ensuring that they serve you with integrity accountability and skills. We never hesitate as the leadership of the IFP to remove and expel IFP councillors and even mayor’s if we are not satisfied with their performance.”

The party hopes to retain all ten municipalities under its control and has its eyes on ANC-led municipalities – including the eThekwini metro.