As an extended celebration of his birthday, Economic Freedom Fighter’s (EFF) commander in chief, Mr Julius Malema hosted a breakfast for the senior citizens of Ekurhuleni at Capellos in Carnival Mall in the early hours of Wednesday morning this week. Before the breakfast, Mr Malema gave elders the opportunity to raise their concerns about service delivery and human settlement issues they have experienced.
The senior citizens highlighted issues around human settlement which include long waiting lists for RDPs, poorly built RDP houses and shacks being sold without the consent of the owners. The elders accused current government of pushing people up on the waiting list after eliciting sexual favours from the general public. “A 28-year-old cannot be registered for a house before someone who is 50 years old. These RDPs are given to the younger generations because they have ways of getting up the list, one of those ways include sleeping with the people in charge which means our seniors have no chance of getting these RDPs,” said Mr Malema during his address.
“We do not have a country because a country starts with home affairs where your birth is first recorded. Using your ID, if you receive a social grant, the government should be able to detect that you are struggling financially because you receive a social grant and should therefore automatically push all those people to the top of the RDP list instead of creating a system where you still need to explain why you qualify for an RDP,” Mr Malema stated. The EFF party leader blamed the rise in crime and drug use by the youth in townships on the lack of access to free education.
Mr Julius Malema addressed the issue of title deeds by assuring the elders that EFF has lawyers in place ready to fight for anyone who has any land disputes, for free. “The RDPs built by the current government cannot even be called RDPs, they are shacks built with one brick. The RDPs are cracked, and when we fought for housing in Ekurhuleni during the apartheid era, we told them we do not want matchbox houses, now the government is giving the people something worse than matchbox houses and they expect us to accept it. When we decide to accept it, we also say it’s better than nothing, no its not, it’s exactly the same as nothing,” said Mr Malema.
One of the seniors read from the EFF’s manifesto and asked for further elaboration on the party’s plans to ensure that game reserves are owned by the people. Mr Julius Malema commented on the fact, saying that there are many places that are registered as game reserves that do not in fact have any ‘game’ on the land, therefore “where there is no such thing as a game reserve, let the land be available to our people for cultivation – where there is a game reserve, let that land be owned by the people,” he said. Mr Malema’s concern was that the land is being used and exploited by tourists instead of that land benefiting the people of South Africa.
“We want to fight for your children to find jobs. We want them to work for the government because unfortunately if you do not support the ANC or if you are not a close relative you will not get hired, we want to end this. There are security guards hired by government organizations on private company contracts that end up overcharging government for mediocre work. We want to change this and hire these security guards under the government administration, so that we can hire people that actually work instead of people that commit crimes and fall asleep on the job. In Johannesburg we have already hired over 7 000 government employed security guards, we have increased their pay from R4500 to R7500, we then gave them pension funds and medical aid. We want this to continue happening across the country,” said Mr Julius Malema in his address on unemployment issues.
The EFF president closed off his speech with a promise to keep fighting to double the senior citizens social grants and to intensify efforts to change the attitude of the youth involved in criminal activities. He thanked the elders for reminding the party of what they are fighting for, and a promise to keep standing for them when they can no longer stand for themselves.