Are South Africans truly free?

Johannesburg - South Africans are not truly free and more needs to be done to bring about productive employment and property ownership, said United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa on Monday.

"There must be productive employment and a decent living wage for our people," Holomisa said at a UDM youth month rally at Freedom Park, near Rustenburg.

"In the long run, food security can only be achieved and hunger beaten if people have jobs."

He said South Africans needed good education and a good health system, and to be free of crime in their communities.

"Considering these factors, one cannot draw any other answer to the question I posed earlier, are South Africans truly free? The answer is no," he said.

South Africans will be truly free when they enjoy quality education, jobs, health, security and property ownership, Holomisa said.

Solutions

He said for South Africa to create jobs "we need to demand that government take steps to ensure that 50 to 60% of our goods are beneficiated locally".

Holomisa suggested that an economic indaba "on the scale of Codesa" should be hosted to find solutions to the country's problems.

He said socio-economic freedom could be achieved if the government did more.

It had to review the funding model of the "expensive" education system which, he said, had failed to produce the skills required by employers.

Holomisa said the events of 1976, and the killing of 44 people during a strike in Marikana, should be a reminder "that we have to work harder to resolve our differences by talking and not physical violence".



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