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IFP launches manifesto amid spectacle – with calls to action against poverty, corruption and crime

IFP launches manifesto amid spectacle – with calls to action against poverty, corruption and crime
IFP President Velenkosini Hlabisa greets the crowd at the Inkatha Freedom Party election manifesto launch at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on 10 March 2024. (Photo: Gallo Images / Darren Stewart)

Thousands of Inkatha Freedom Party supporters filled up Moses Mabhida Stadium to hear the party launch its 2024 election manifesto on Sunday. The party’s 13-point plan emphasises tackling immigration challenges and reserving jobs for South Africans.

The launch of the Inkatha Freedom Party’s (IFP) election manifesto on Sunday, 10 March 2024 saw party president Velenkosini Hlabisa unveil the party’s 13-point plan, which it says would give South Africans hope and rescue the country from poverty, unemployment, rampant corruption, a stagnant economy and high levels of crime and criminality.

ifp manifesto moses mabhida

A view of Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban during the Inkatha Freedom Party national and provincial election manifesto launch on 10 March 2024. (Photo: Gallo Images / Darren Stewart)

ifp manifesto moses mabhida

Supporters at the Inkatha Freedom Party election manifesto launch at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. (Photo: Gallo Images / Darren Stewart)

Supporters were transported to Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium from all corners of KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape, ranging from the elderly to men carrying traditional weapons such as shields, sticks and spears and children barely in their teens.

In the week ahead of the rally, the party held several events and mini-rallies in Durban and surrounding areas.

Spirits in the full stadium were dampened, however, when it was announced that at least 36 people had been injured when three buses ferrying people to the manifesto launch in Durban were involved in an accident on the N2 near Gingindlovu in KwaZulu-Natal.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Elections 2024

IFP national spokesman Mkhuleko Hlengwa, who was the MC at the event, said his party had disappointed doomsayers by filling the stadium to capacity.

The highlight of the day was the IFP helicopter hovering over the stadium with a giant IFP flag featuring the face of the late IFP founder Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and a smaller one of Hlabisa. That and T-shirts worn by IFP supporters with the slogan “Do it for Shenge” (Buthelezi’s clan name) underscored the fact that the IFP is relying heavily on the appeal of its founder to draw support.

ifp manifesto zuzifa buthelezi

Prince Ntuthukoyezwe Zuzifa Buthelezi, the late Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s son, at the Inkatha Freedom Party election manifesto launch. (Photo: Gallo Images / Darren Stewart)

Prince Zuzile Buthelezi, the late founder’s son, who succeeded him as the Inkosi of the Buthelezi clan, said his family was still fully behind the IFP and was happy that the party was keeping his father’s legacy alive.

“So I urge you all to go out in your numbers and vote, cast your vote next to the IFP,” Buthelezi said.

Read more in Daily Maverick: IFP looks beyond Buthelezi legacy to gain critical votes outside traditional support base

Thirteen-point plan

Unveiling the manifesto’s 13-point plan, Hlabisa said his party’s “programme of action” focused on creating jobs, unlocking the economy, dealing decisively with crime and corruption and ending rolling blackouts by diversifying the energy sector.

The IFP said spaza shops must be wholly owned by South Africans, that companies’ staff must include at least 80% South Africans and that low-skilled work must be reserved for South Africans. It also committed to strengthening immigration control to deal with the “national security threat” created by the “illegal immigration crisis”.

ifp manifesto moses mabhida

An IFP supporter with a shawl depicting the late party president Mangosuthu Buthelezi at the Inkatha Freedom Party election manifesto launch. (Photo: Gallo Images / Darren Stewart)

“The IFP will roll out free basic education while reforming NSFAS so that it delivers on its mandate of empowering the youth,” reads the manifesto, which also commits to reducing the price of internet data.

“The IFP will roll out an Unemployed Graduate Grant of R3,000 for a fixed period, to assist graduates to find meaningful employment,” the manifesto says.

High stakes

Hlabisa said the country was on the precipice, and the upcoming general elections could make or break it.

The IFP is one of 11 members of the Multi-Party Charter, which has committed to forming a coalition if it can unseat the ANC. Polling suggests the ANC will lose its majority in KwaZulu-Natal, where the IFP is strongest, in Gauteng and possibly nationally.

Read more in Daily Maverick: KZN provincial battlefield will present a major challenge to ANC’s continued grip on power

“It has been deeply painful to see South Africa led astray by a majority party that became drunk with power. Over the last 30 years, our country’s economy has declined, criminality – including crimes against women and children – has exploded, corruption has taken hold and basic services have become another broken promise. In 2024, the need for a change of government is critical.

“For 30 years, the IFP has been a formidable opposition, holding government to account … The results of this election will have a far-reaching impact, affecting this generation and the next. With the stakes so high, the IFP asks you to partner with us to secure the best possible future,” Hlabisa said.

Rondo Ntshangase, a 63-year-old pensioner who has to use a walking stick after he was injured working in the mines in Middelburg, Mpumalanga, said: “I have always voted IFP and I will not change. This time around, too much is at stake. It is not nice to see our country going down. In Pongola where I stay, crime is too high. People kill each [other] and they walk freely in the road. We are also concerned about jobs – our children and grandchildren are not working. We are doomed. We need change,” Ntshangase said.

Ntombifuthi Mqadi (36), from Nongoma, said she hoped the IFP would win KwaZulu-Natal and change things.

“We don’t have jobs, we don’t have houses. If the IFP takes over, we hope that they will change things and open many job opportunities. We are concerned about lack of service delivery. We stay for months without water in our taps and there are no water tankers. The situation is dire and our hope is with the IFP,” she said. DM

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Johannes Jansen says:

    all the parties promises major changes which will costs millions rands…. where will this money come from ???

    • Nick Miller says:

      Any responsible political party should publish the cost of any proposal they make to allow public scrutiny and also indicate how they will be funded.
      It is very easy to make unfunded promises-normally because there is never any intention of actually delivering on them!

  • virginia crawford says:

    Good idea: 80% staff should be locals. Raise money by fining those who employ illegal immigrants. You don’t know who they are: ex- Renamo ( military style heists), war lords, Mugabe supporters or criminals. What you do know is that they paid a bribe at the border. One might sympathise with the individual, but my sympathies go first to those who grew up in the 70s and 80s, and earlier, who are still suffering and cannot find work.

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