‘We want justice now. We want our land now. We want jobs now. We demand the economy now’
The EFF has widened its scope for expropriation of land, saying it will also target game farms, according to party leader Julius Malema as he launched his party’s manifesto yesterday.
Malema told supporters in Soshanguve, Tshwane, yesterday that the first nationalisation experiment would focus on bringing game farms under state control.
The strategy appears to be an attempt to fight back against white landowners accused of converting their properties to game farms to try to hike up the market value and frustrate land reform.
In another new shift, Malema indicated on Friday that the EFF would be in government in Tshwane metro later in the year, hinting at possibly toppling the governing DA in the municipality.
Speaking at the EFF gala dinner in Pretoria, Malema told guests that the EFF would have members of the mayoral committees (MMCs) in both Tshwane and Johannesburg councils, which are now under DA control.
“We want to take some power. We have been training for too long now. We will be mayors and MMCs. In Johannesburg you will get EFF MMCs.
He said the DA mayor in Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, was safe “and even if the DA fires him they will personally give him a red cap”.
On the DA’s outgoing Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga, Malema said it was good that he left because he had created a mess.
He said Msimanga used city manager Mooketsi Mosola as a scapegoat. “We do not want a situation where politicians use administrators as scapegoats.”
Last week City Press reported that the EFF was unhappy in its relationship with the DA and a split could not be ruled out.
Malema said the DA had crossed the line by going against the EFF and lodging a criminal case against the party for its alleged involvement in the looting of VBS Mutual Bank.
To boost jobs, said Malema, one of the interventions would include an imposed quota on all shops to ensure 60% of products were locally produced.
The EFF’s election manifesto centred on alleviating poverty, inequality and unemployment. Its theme for the elections was: Our land and jobs now.
Malema said the government would ensure that the amended section 25 of the Constitution to allow expropriation of land without compensation was carried through with immediate effect.
“The EFF government will allocate land for residential, agriculture and industrial use for free. The EFF government will nationalise all game reserves.”
The emphasis on land, Malema stated, derived from the fact that 25 years since attaining political freedom, 80% of the population continued to occupy less than 10% of South Africa’s land.
The red berets committed themselves to redistribute a minimum of 50% of the land to be controlled by women and youth and abolish foreign land ownership.
The EFF leader announced plans to establish a people’s land council to manage and redistribute land to all those who needed it for residential and productive purposes.
“The land is coming to our people. We are going to amend section 25 of the 1996 South African Constitution to allow expropriation of land without compensation for equal redistribution.”
He said the liberation of people from economic apartheid could not be postponed.
“We are not part of the 1994 elite pact. We are a completely new generation, with new demands. And our demands, unlike those of the 1994 generation, will not be postponed.
“We refuse to be silenced with so-called reconciliation. We want justice now. We want our land now. We want jobs now. We demand the economy now,” he said.
The EFF vowed to ensure that a minimum of 50% of all the country’s mineral resources were locally beneficiated, processed and value added.
The red berets’ plan included prohibiting the confiscation of street traders’ goods as a means of enforcing municipal by-laws and ensuring that all food for local consumption was produced and processed on a massive scale in South Africa.
Malema told supporters that the eligible age to vote should be reduced to 16.
“The age of consent to have sex is 16, therefore the voting age must be the same.”
He promised to link Eskom and the social development department. In that way, he said, they would know when someone received a social grant and that person would also receive electricity and other necessities for free.
He promised the media that an EFF government would not seek to regulate it.