- Revered Priests, my mum Mrs H. Thakur, SAMREM Chair Ashin Singh, Dignitaries of the Diplomatic Core, Honoured Guests, Religious Leaders, Community Leaders, Senior Citizens, Volunteers, Supporters, Well-Wishers, MF NEC Members, Candidates, Staff and the Media, warm greetings to all.
- The Minority Front was established in 1993 on the principles for speaking up for the working class, marginalized, the poor and predominately the Indian community. However, with a passage of time that base of electorate has now become eroded because people’s affluence has now increased, education levels have improved and the MF has been repeatedly asked: Are you relevant?Today, we celebrate 25 years, a quarter of a century of the existence the MF. Once again the MF finds itself even more relevent than ever before, for marginalized groups. Having said that, one can easily say it’s based on race because of the government’s policy to further marginalize minorities for example, Affirmative Action which should include Coloureds and Indians.
The ruling party has entrenched racism by introducing demographics and quotas which further marginalizes minority groups.I say to you all that, marginalized groups can be any cohesive group that has been side – lined by government’s policy or lack of policy, for example, the rural areas get neglected because the resources of the country are not adequately deployed , so rural people become a marginalized group.Marginalized groups can be categorized by illnesses where in our health facilities, not enough medication and staffing is provided e.g. genetic conditions. So, the MF was formed for minority rights for all these reasons.
The MF works with the majority, whoever the party may be, because we believe in in co-operative co-existence. Today some parties have become “power drunk and drunk with power,” so we need to remove this bad power and rather strengthen the MF. The DA is the master of false promises. Never be swayed by these sweet tongues before elections. After elections the DA does the Disappearing Act, like mist vanishes in the sun.
I ask you all, tell me one thing, that the DA has done for you except make our people stand with placards and jump up and down. Let me tell you, you can jog at Chatsworth stadium, you don’t have to pay fees. Nobody pays fees in the whole of South Africa. Let me remind all that, the Chatsworth stadium was built by the community facilities fund by our grandparents. In fact the stadium should be private property for the people of Chatsworth, run by our sport bodies and we should charge a fee for everyone using our stadium. Yes, we will change the name to the Rajbansi Stadium, even the Higginson to the Rajbansi Highway.
I invite the DA leader Musi Mainmane to the Chatsworth Stadium for an open debate and everyone is welcome to attend. We will give him and his stooges a Chatsworth send off for non-performance. I say Vote out the toothless DA and the corrupt ANC on 08th May. Vote for the Tigress.
Indian, Coloured, now even White young professionals and blue collar workers need more work opportunities and the MF is your watchdog to ensure that the new Parliament invests in our communities.
The situation is so volatile that we see the resurgence of Afrikaner conservatism. Colured people have had their fair share of complicated political history but I want to wish Patricia de Lille well in her new party, being a women leader too.
The Minority Front will support Coloured communities to not accept fatalistic attitudes towards injustice.
- Affirmative Action:
- Historically, the White paper review in 2000 did not occur
- The Sunset clause in 2014 did not materialise
- The born-frees are coming into parliament and ensuring Affirmative Action stays for the majority black African people. Our government is racist because, every policy and programme claims non-racialism and non-sexism but in reality, the government continues spitting out race obsessed policies. Yes, we speak of “demographic correctness”, but we ignore transformed minds.We can never achieve “social cohesion” and nation – building like this “forward – looking but backward thinking.” Therefore, Let’s all Move Forward Together, with the MF this 08th May, since the government is hell bent on keeping Affirmative Action.Now, the MF wants Affirmative Action to stay too but for minority Indians, Whites and Coloureds, like it happens in other democratic countries.
I believe it’s fair, almost 30 years into democracy.
The test to consider is that Affirmative Action should assist discriminated groups.
In South Africa, we have BBBEE which is a pro – poor policy for economic and social backwardness or PDIs, there is no argument.
Hence, currently Affirmative Action remains a Constitutional promise with political expediency but it won’t stand the test of Equality for born – frees 30 years down the line.Affirmative action has been terribly misused to bloat the public sector, 80% of budgets goes to salaries and 20% to service delivery.
Affirmative Action extends into public, private sectors, housing, and minority quotas in education. This is reverse discrimination therefore not social justice.
The Affirmative Action policy must change, not on economic need but for discriminated groups. This will be only fair because we have enough pro – poor or income based policies.
- Land Expropriation: The MF has asked for a plan and for the responsible committee to produce the land register for privately owned and government land with verification of title deeds through a government gazette. We need to plan from StatsSA and the National Planning Commission for how unused, vacant government land must be utilised on the next 5 years.The land grabs from White and Indians must stop.
People have paid their rates and utility bills so there must be no lawlessness.
If the government has good intentions then ensure that all vacant government owned property that is categorised for housing is cut up and first given to homeless South Africans and to every family where there is overcrowding, as well as, the informal settlements, to people who are South Africans but homeless.
Those who are migrant workers and live in informal settlements but have their other home in another province or city or in rural or semi – rural areas must be allocated government rental dwellings.
Those in government rental dwellings must be given the first option of a title deed or be given a free piece of land to allow for other tenants to rent.What is more important is the Property Expropriation Bill that was advertised on 21st December 2018. It is not known whether this was incorrectly advertised, or whether it supposed to read “Land Expropriation” and not “Property Expropriation.” The MF will track this and so must the media.
- Housing is a right in our Bill of Rights, but the government prefers the mushrooming of informal settlements. That’s their idea of social housing; reduce our people to sickness, social – ills and dehumanise them, use them as vote – banks for years then give them houses. In some cultures e.g. Indian, our people will rather live crowded or rent than live in a shack. This is unhealthy and risky. Yet a simple transparent housing list is so difficult. The MF wants “social” housing to be controlled by Social Development and the houses built or supplied by Human Settlements not municipalities. I will ensure this mandate changes, like I did for medico – legal (mortuaries) from SAPS to Health and school nutrition programme from Health to Education. My 20 years in the KZN Legislature has seen many contributions, all for our people, like mandatory ECD.
- The MF will be your eyes and ears. Remember the timing of key tariff by parastatals e.g. NERSA during the December Holidays. We will all face huge increases in our rates too because residents may not object due to April being busy before Elections. The MF says move this to June. This is unaccountability to the extreme.
- State Capture: the rot of corruption in South Africa, can be summed up as follows, yesterday the acting police commissioner was granted bail.
Every State Owned Enterprise, government department, even parliament i.e. the Executive and legislatures have been dismantled with corruption.
Our country is standing only on one leg/pillar of democracy, the judiciary, that too, mostly retired judges running our country by Commissions.
We owe it our citizens to turn this around. Every political party in the National Assembly is weak and has allowed this. This is the first time, the Minority Front was not in Cape Town. We will be there after May 08th, to change and shape debates, legislations and regulations, so that we get back on track.
We all know Freedom is not free but, Freedom of the media is also compromised and I can say our media is ‘partly free’.
Freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, all under threat.
Look at the illegal rubber-bulleting of our Chatsworth residents. The MF demanded the IPID report and we await justice and amendments to three pieces of legislation.
- In the past 10 years, the phrase “politicians are supposed to be servants of the people” has vanished, the National Assembly has become a political circus and Hitler and Stalin – like personalities have been presented to us, on National TV by the Zondo Commission, as gifts of politics.
They have created problems, where none existed and created personal fortunes from other people’s misfortunes, like the VBS Bank saga. The Economic Freedom Fighters pick on the Indian Community to distract our people from all the serious looting, taking hard earned money from widows for children’s education then the EFF demands free education. Such born – free misleaders are dangerous for our communities. I also invite Julius for a debate on being Indian.
When the MF goes to the National Assembly, I will be the voice of our people to get real work done, stop the insanity and fights. We have to be a slave drivers for service delivery for our people.
- Our people are now rebellious and rightfully so, we want Radical Political Transformation to achieve Radical Economic Transformation. We do not want affirmative action, BBBEE, PDIs all these are now discriminatory and will go against SDG2030, for equality.
- Mother-Tongue Languages: This is always a sore issue for minorities. The MF demands that mother–tongue languages be accommodated within the school curriculum to promote cultural education. In the next year, the MF will push for this, as we believe that there is a need to bring culture back into our classrooms for all learners. We must save our mother-tongue and introduce spiritual leadership in our schools.
- The MF has always combated crime. We have already invested in CPFs. We have partnered with a local organization Crime Connection, using technology to keep our families safe.
- The LGBT community: The MF has supported the gay, lesbian, bi – sexual and transgenders from 1998 and our policies remain to empower this minority grouping that still faces violence and discrimination.
The MF will assist in the establishing of a one stop community centre for the LGBT in Phoenix initially. We also want medical aids to provide specifically for their requirements.
The MF launched a Women’s Circle last year, headed by Ms Farida Jalal in Phoenix as a support structure for families too.
- The KZN Finance MEC said there is no money for service delivery, because we have paid salaries to the Isinduna, I ask why not pay our home or family pastors and priests, too.
- Gender Based Violence is against women specifically directed to a woman, because she is a woman.
To curb this, with the minimal funding we get, the MF invests in empowerment young and older women and girl child e.g. we carried out extensive sanitary towel distributions in schools for our learners. As a small party we believe “education is a girl’s weapon” “period.” I had completed gender studies recently and support all the hashtag movements to be vocal about workplace safety, advocating wellness programmes and even making recommendation to the IEC to eradicate gender based violence against women in politics.South Africa is obligated to address violence but we have failed because we do only 16 days awareness campaigns that doesn’t change behaviour.As a political party the Minority Front has dedicated plans. In 2014, we hosted a “young ladies” empowerment programme with the churches. In 2016, we marched with the medical students to the eThekwini municipality to hand a memorandum for “pink transport” for women using public transport systems. The MF also invests in male empowerment programmes, especially in Fashion show promotions to give young men confidence and positivity. I oversee that budgets are gender – sensitive in Parliament.
Are we walking the talk or talking the walk?Eg: Mayor Zandile Gumede wants to walk for social ills yet social ills are in our faces daily (walking the talk).
We must rather Talk the walk – Madam Mayor visit all offices in EThekwini to ensure good service delivery, make good Exco decisions, clear housing back logs and extending municipal clinics to employ counsellor services and drug wise counsellor services.
- What is extremely worrisome is that our government has never been transparent about our Foreign Affairs Policy. Now we certainly don’t need another Commission to look into this. We want a consistent government policy on issues like immigration, terrorism and violence, refugees and asylum seekers. The lack of transparency causes division and instability in South Africa. The MF wants more job opportunities for minority youth in Foreign Affairs.
- Minority Rights: Today our Indian and White teachers are terrorised by parents and SGBs to be forcibly removed to show equity in management but this is not done in other areas, so, reverse racism and ethnic nepotism is alive.The MF says scrap or change Affirmative Action and implement Employment Equity correctly everywhere. Currently, our Indian and White civil servants do not get promotions and are told to take early packages. This is unforgivable, knowing we have a skills deficit.What I want to see after May 08th, that government departments become role models and use the concept of a Rainbow Nation, “We look like a Rainbow Nation” behind the desks of departments, there must be one person of each race group male and female, making ever visitors feel welcome. We can only fast-track social cohesion by being inclusive, not side-lining.
Remember, the MF will exist until minorities have recognition with empowerment.
Our languages and cultural rights, the right to a living or jobs, housing, education, health, etc…
Once upon a time, South Africa had a strong, well established private sector and we had higher overall levels of income. Today by the state capturing the private sector, the state is making citizens highly dependent on it, and is becoming the only source of income and benefits, basically Nationalism.
In 2014 the Khoi-San people formed a political party and in 2015 this bill was established.
In the final analysis, when the ruling party wants to remove parties which are a threat, they introduce recognition laws like in November last year, the traditional and Khoi – San leadership Bill. The Minority Front also asked for a Minorities Commission and a Minorities Ministry in 2014 and we continue to do so, because it is valid and valuable.
- To journalists: professors or not, I want to tell you categorically, that the MF is here to stay so no one must write again that “with no MF, Indians are bereft of a political home” 20 Feb 2019 – POST. Therefore, we say “Come Back Home” “Let’s Move Forward Together.” We are capable of deciding our own future together.I say to other opportunistic parties, “You tried to destroy the MF”, we survived, do not come to Chatsworth, Phoenix etc. once in 5 years, take our people’s vote and disappear for the 5 years. Our charous, won’t buy that on May 08th 2019.Now I acknowledge that dagga is legalised. The dagga party is not contesting this year, but dagga is unregulated and therefore, it’s dangerous for many people’s free thinking.Speaking of Minority Parties. Can anyone tell us just how vociferous are these leaders on any rights?
I am told that some of these party members or leaders are absent half of the time or when crucial votes are been decided they take smoke breaks or abstain. They cannot lead people. Finally, parties who represent minority rights must be judged by how much assistance they give to any organization or individual to develop our communities
- Voter Education: It is high time voters are aware on how to choose your political leadership because there is a great worry about lack of such leadership especially in the Minority Indian Community.My advice is go through the “Tick boxes for leaders,”
- How many come once in 5 years?
- How many spend time screaming and shouting in parliament?
- How many lack intelligence, emotion and spirituality?
- How many are corrupt and speak lies and never keep up to their promises?
- If a party has leaders like this then reconsider otherwise you will have 5 years of hell.
- 2019 MF Candidates: In the last 7 years, I have groomed politicians and today I can proudly say that the MF has strong capable leaders both youth and those over 35 years who are ready to fight the May 08th election.
I have based these “political learnerships” on the fact that “freedom is not free” and every generation needs to earn its own freedom.
These candidates, some of whom are seated on stage and many are in the audience, have been trained to be grass – roots politicians because on the brink of the 6th general elections, this is our “tryst” with destiny, we have to remain part and parcel of mainstream politics in South Africa to serve and save our country.
- My rise to MF Leader
Mr Rajbansi passed on during the latter part of 2011. In the early part 2012, the NEC resolved to elect myself as leader of the MF. This was reported widely in the media. Following complaints from the public about certain Councillors and representatives and party disciplining, legal battles ensued with a revolt against leadership and councillors refused to report for duty.
Councillors wanted dual membership and the court ruled that all matters should be joined and heard on 9th December 2013. At the hearing on that day, an agreement was reached by all of the revolting Councillors that my leadership of the party be recognised. A new NEC was put into place for the MF. In 2018, the National Conference of the MF reaffirmed my leadership and the Constitution was amended at that National Conference to prohibit dual membership of the MF with any other party. Any MF member who joins another party or who was a member of another party when joining the MF without resigning from the other party prior to joining the MF is automatically disqualified as a member of the MF.
A positive nation must have strong family structures, no matter how they are constituted, because no government can replace the role of family.
Therefore, MF wants the Mean Test for Child Support Grant to change and only limit to 2 children.
We want a sex – education curriculum for schools and educators, similar to countries like Mauritius.
The MF has funded pre – marital workshop programmes for FBOs, so that, religious leaders can to advise young couples.
- Implications of not voting
As the MF Leader I began my political career as a youth. During those years it was very difficult to participate in politics as it was considered a “man’s world” and certainly not something a young woman would be successful in. However, I dispelled that notion by providing value to the KZN Legislature for the last 20 years and am one of the longest serving members. Notwithstanding these achievements, had I not exercised my right to register to vote and go out into the world of politics, I would not have made these positive differences. It is with these views that the MF asks all youth to go out and vote on 08th May on both ballot papers. The disadvantages of not voting can be dire: You will deny yourself of the ONLY free right you have as a South African Citizen. You will close the door on any possible opportunity that you may have. You further disadvantage yourself of good and transparent leadership in the Provincial Legislature and National Assembly, who will unashamedly fight for the rights of Minorities and who will be your eyes and ears in these institutions. Therefore make sure you make the wise choice and vote MF on Both Ballot papers on May 8th 2019.We have come a long way, especially as Indentured people, from Colonialism to Africanism,
So Let this be a better, not bitter life
I wish you all well in the forthcoming elections.
May all minorities be united regardless of race, religion, and ethnicity.Indira Gandhi said once, “If you walk behind me, I may not lead, if you walk in front of me, I may not follow but rather walk beside me, so that we lean on each other.
With these words I say,
Come back home to the MF in 2019
Let’s move forward togetherThank you all and God Bless
Hon. Shameen Thakur- Rajbansi
Leader of the Minority Front
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