Maphiniki Stadium, 50km out of Kuruman saw a host of red Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) supporters come through to cheer their Commander in Chief, (CIC) on as he encouraged them to vote for the EFF come national elections on the 8th May 2019.
He succeeded in getting the masses to the stadium and in getting them equally fired up for the launch of his anticipated manifesto. Touching on many points he focused on ridding the state of corruption, arresting the ‘current corrupt’ officials occupying government, doubling social and pension grants, shortening the period for paying back bonds on houses and the importance of developing skills of South African citizens, especially those employed by the state. “People need to be employed because they have the adequate qualifications to perform the tasks required, they need to be employed because they can efficiently do the work they are mandated to do, not because they are family of the authorities doing the hiring nor because they are sleeping with them. The problem with our current state is that they are not hiring people for their skills, “Malema fervently exclaimed.
Malema stated that he appreciates the good work done with trusts but even in those trusts corruption is rampant as there are many people who have been serving in those trusts for lengthy periods of time, “There are people that have been working there all this time. We are calling for that to be reviewed”. He further went on to state that when they come in to power, one of the first things they will do is bring in new councillors and employees of state, “We are going to bring in new councillors. The ones that are currently here are not serving our people and they need to be removed”.
Ensuring that more arrests are made when the EFF comes into power is also high on their agenda list. Malema confidently stated that they will do away with officials they claim to be corrupt. “We will arrest Jacob Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa when we come into power. They will join John Block in jail as we do not support corrupt officials getting away with misusing and abusing tax payers’ money.”
With regard to the unemployment rate of South African citizens, the EFF look forward to a future where the youth are able to boats their educational qualifications more than they do their material possessions, “In every house there needs to be someone that has a job. We are encouraging people to study further and to get the necessary skills and qualifications so that they are able to contribute to the growing of the South African economy and make positive changes in their households and livelihoods. Our youth needs to boast their degrees and diplomas and not their cavallas!”
Placing major emphasis on education and skills development as a fundamental issue that needs to be greatly dealt with, Malema reiterated the need for the black majority to come up and reclaim their place in society, “A life without water, without electricity, education or proper housing cannot be considered living. Helen Zille, the Democratic Alliance and Cyril Ramaphosa are enemies of our people. To them, the lives of black people don’t matter. No white man can borrow this life for a single day and that is why the fight is on now!”
Approximately 50km to the north, the ANC’s Gwede Mantashe was addressing the party’s regional manifesto launch. Mantashe was providing a report of the ANC government’s achievement like free education, the school nutrition programme, the NSFAS grant, the millions of houses built, etc. He emphasised that the ANC will focus on the youth by ensuring they have access to education and jobs.
“Unity is not only about uniting with people that agree with you. You must extend a hand to people who are giving you problems. Unity in the ANC is a source of strength” said Mantashe. He stated that Ramaphosa is one of the biggest assets of the ANC.He said that it’s a myth that the last 9 years with Jacob Zuma at the helm was wasted years. Mantashe highlighted the fight against HIV/AIDS with the biggest antiretroviral programme in the world being established under Zuma. The ANC’s national chairperson stated that the economy needs to become a focus area so as to create jobs which in turn will make a dent in poverty and inequality.
The JTG district is an important election terrain for the two parties, with both vying for the cross of the voter by marketing their manifestos. The EFF’s Provincial Secretary, Shadrack Tlhaole, is a popular figure in the area and his move from the ANC to the EFF might be beneficial to the party’s chances at the ballot box. The ANC on the other hand is currently controlling all the municipalities in the district and has tightened its grip as the governing party. The 8 May elections will definitely be interesting taking into consideration that both parties enjoy support in the area.