The IFP is not looking forward to commemorating Heritage day. As a country, we have not handled social cohesion in a satisfactory manner; we are even more divided than in 2010 during the world cup. Even in this house, racial slurs are common and do not reflect any measure of cohesion or nation building.
One of the greatest ways in which we can respect our past is by bettering our future. In many ways this has been achieved; but in far more ways it has not. A great deal of work must still be done.
In the realm of HIV/AIDS, its recognition and treatment we have seen this government evolve from the position of total denialism to one in which HIV/AIDS, its prevention and cure is now first and foremost on our health agendas. The Inkatha Freedom Party has always championed the fight against this scourge, even when it was wildly unpopular to do so. We supported the Treatment Action Campaign in their legal battle to have neviripine given freely to HIV POSITIVE women who were pregnant so as to prevent the transmission of this dread disease from mother to child. As the provincial government of the time in KwaZulu-Natal we were also the first province to roll out this preventative medicine in all of our public health facilities. The last twenty years have accorded us a heritage of ‘transition’ from the old apartheid style form of governance to the new democratic dispensation. The Ruling Party have had the great task of navigating this transition, which they performed at some times, admirably and at others, dismally.
Our Municipal services are in a state of disintegration that beggars belief. Year after year, we see service delivery protests over basic services such water, housing and electricity. Our municipal system is on the verge of collapse. Instances of mismanagement, fraud and corruption are everywhere. Our people are suffering.
We speak proudly of how far this country has come from the days of apartheid. Yet shades of what that government did to our people are evident in our current government. Future generations will have nothing of substance to celebrate if all they receive from us is a political, social and cultural heritage that completely divides us.
Our heritage is composition of all of our differences working together. Our democracy must not be used to advance the agenda of a certain part of our country – it should benefit all of us who live in South Africa. In fact, It is high time that this government draws a line in the sand stating this far and no further on public services mismanagement, corruption, fraud and incompetence.
This is not the heritage we want to leave to our children.
I thank you
Hon Prof CT Msimang, MP