MTN8 not a ‘simple soccer final’

Siboniso Duma is the KwaZulu-Natal leader of Government Business and ANC provincial chairperson. Picture: Supplied

Siboniso Duma is the KwaZulu-Natal leader of Government Business and ANC provincial chairperson. Picture: Supplied

Published Oct 11, 2023



We wish to express our revolutionary appreciation to the national executive committee for its continuing support. This has enabled us to stage, successfully, the 2019 Manifesto Review Rally held at Harry Gwala Stadium.

We gathered after this province and Durban in particular had hosted a spectacular MTN8 Final. The game was watched by millions of people on television. This was in addition to more than 54 000 soccer fans who filled up Moses Mabhida to the rafters.

We remain grateful to Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns for their excellent display of talent. We extend our deepest appreciation to the acting CEO of the Premier Soccer League, Mato Madlala, and PSL for their continued confidence in KwaZulu-Natal.

We reiterate the message we communicated when we welcomed our visitors during a breakfast held in Inanda township that MTN8 final is not any more a “simple soccer final”. It is the most enduring national gathering of the people of this country with a rich history that dates back to 1972.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow, we will never take lightly the opportunity offered to us to host such a gathering, which has grown in leaps and bounds. The Top 8 final has survived the apartheid regime and carried the aspirations of the nation throughout the 30 years of our democracy.

Importantly, we believe it was quite fitting for this final to take place at Moses Mabhida Stadium. We state this because next week Saturday, October 14, Baba Moses Mabhida would have turned 100 years. The people of KZN will join the rest of South Africa in celebrating the life of this giant.

Our gathering in Moses Mabhida Region should be viewed as reporting to both Comrade Moses Mabhida and Comrade Gwala what we have done over the past 30 years of our freedom in terms of carrying forward their dreams of building a better future.

Before the ANC took over in 2004, KZN was regarded as the poorest performer in the country in the provision of piped water, sanitation, refuse removal and electricity. Fifty-six percent of all schools were accessible only by footpaths or poor gravel roads; 69% of schools had no power supply; 34% of schools had no water on site; 51% of schools used pit latrines and 333 schools had no toilets at all; 77% of schools had no library; 85% of schools had no laboratories; 75% of schools were without computers; 34% of schools had no principals’ offices; 32% of school buildings were in poor physical condition; and the shortfall in classrooms was estimated at 14 667.

This situation prompted the declaration of a state of emergency by the newly elected ANC government. This was aimed at fast-tracking service delivery.

Billions of rand have been invested in the construction of schools. To date, this province boasts schools with cutting-edge technology, such as Pholela, Xoloxolo and Mandla Mthethwa.

We have invested in childhood development and ensured improvement in the matric rate over the years.

We have built KZN into a land of expanding opportunities.

We have created the possibility to release more resources for socio-economic services while building a modern and competitive provincial economy.

We constructed the state-of-the-art public health institutions such as Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital, Dr Pixley ka Isaka Seme Hospital and many hospitals and clinics in the districts. This was part of ensuring access to quality health care. More than R5 billion went towards such projects and thousands of people were employed.

While the overall value of investments into the province was very low in the early 2000s, the last 20 years have seen an explosion of investment in KZN.

As guided by Luthuli House, we ensured that the ANC government in KZN took the route of becoming a developmental state. We have mobilised the private sector to invest alongside the KZN government state in a strong show of confidence.

For instance, we have more than R17bn worth of investment in KwaDukuza. Recently, investors announced an investment of R1.6bn in Club Med Tinley Resort. This will create 550 permanent jobs, 1 500 indirect jobs and 1 000 jobs during construction.

Compatriots, having highlighted some of the issues raised sharply by society, we draw strength from messages of appreciation from the majority of the people of KZN.

They appreciate that since the ANC ascended into power in 2004 in this province, deep rural areas that were neglected by both apartheid and KwaZulu government, they see roads being constructed, connecting them to economic centres.

We are conscious of the fact that as neighbouring villages get clean water, electricity, clinics and proper roads, other people wait patiently for these services. As many people move from informal to formal houses, we want to assure those who are waiting that their turn will surely come as day follows the night.

KZN has been a construction site for the past 30 years. We rolled out human settlements such as the R2.1bn Vulindlela rural housing project and many more others in Nongoma, Port Shepstone, Jozini and other areas. The Department of Human Settlements won the Govan Mbeki Awards year after year for being the leading department in terms of the construction of houses.

We invested more than R2bn for the electrification of rural areas such as Mfekayi in Umtubatuba, Empangisweni in Abaqulusi Local Municipality, Mnjintini in Umsinga and many other areas.

Pipelines of investments were directed to all the districts in KZN which ranged between R3bn and R20bn for each district. Uthukela, King Cetshwayo, Umgungundlovu, Umkhanyakude, Ilembe, Zululand and eThekwini, to name but a few.

The ANC set aside a budget ranging from R5bn to R15bn and more for the construction of roads linking villages to economic centres.

The government of the ANC ensured that R600 million was set aside to ensure the backpay for Izinduna. This shows our acknowledgement of the role of the institution of traditional leadership.

Siboniso Duma is the KwaZulu-Natal leader of Government Business and ANC provincial chairperson.