Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema delivered his party’s Freedom Day message in a virtual address on Monday.
The wide-ranging address touched on the government’s “premature” reopening of the economy, social grants, state-owned enterprises, Solidarity Fund, judiciary, and the plight of Africans in China, among other issues.
We compile nine notable quotes from Malema’s address in this article.
“The coronavirus pandemic has brought into sharp focus the landlessness of our people. Our people are cramped in informal settlements and townships and majority do not have small pieces of land to plant crops during this difficult period. The gains of 1994 have therefore become useless.”
2 Grant increases should be permanent
“We fully welcome the increase of social grants and the introduction of a basic income grant for unemployed people. Our demand in this regard is simple – these increases must be made permanent.
“The old-age grant must never be reduced and must instead be increased to R2,800 per month. The child-support grant must not be reduced, but it must instead be increased to R800 per month. The basic-income grant must not be reversed; it must instead be increased to R1,000 per month.”
3 Post-coronavirus economy
“The economy of South Africa post-coronavirus must not have the same features as the economy before and during the coronavirus pandemic. We demand that all state-owned companies be protected and some should be repurposed. Workers should not be retrenched, particularly those of South African Airways and Eskom.”
4 International Monetary Fund/World Bank
“We refuse that government should take loans from the IMF and World Bank because IMF loans have been used in the whole African continent as instruments of recolonisation and we do not want to lose our independence because of situations we can domestically manage.”
5 Solidarity Fund
“We are aware that those managing the Solidarity Fund want to appoint Bidvest and Imperial as the only companies that would buy and deliver all the essentials needed to fight coronavirus. President [Cyril] Ramaphosa must desist from using these institutions to empower his friends and those who contributed to the CR17 campaign.”
6 Reopening of economy
“Cyril Ramaphosa and all companies that are rushing into premature reopening [of the economy] must know that they would have blood on their hands if our people die as a result of their premature, reckless and senseless reopening of the economy.
“Our submission is that [for] each worker that contracts the disease as a result of the premature and senseless reopening, that company should pay a fine of R5 million to the family of the deceased.”
“There is an attempt to manipulate our judiciary and to capture it by white monopoly capital. Our legal system is used to fight political battles and escape accountability.
“Today, the capture of our political system by those with money is defended by our courts and documents implicating the state President and funders are sealed from the public.”
8 Africans in China
“In Guangzhou, the home of Asia’s largest African migrant population, state-sponsored propaganda has come to blame African migrants for bringing and spreading COVID-19.
“The local authorities have identified Africa as the source of the largest number of imported cases of COVID-19. How is it that a virus that originated from China somehow came to be blamed on the black bodies by the same Chinese authorities?”
9 African migrants in SA
“When financial and economic relief was communicated by President Ramaphosa, there was no mention of the continent and all the African migrants who live amongst us. The food parcels and all grants are meant for South Africans only. Even the small business grants are structured for South Africans only.
“We must not forget our brothers and sisters from neighbouring countries who remain in our country during these difficult times. We must shelter everyone. We must feed everyone.”