The more than one million people who voted for the Economic Freedom Fighters in the 2014 general election will never regret doing so, EFF leader Julius Malema said on Saturday.
“We thank over one million of our people who voted for the EFF in 2014, and promise today [Saturday] that they will never regret doing so. The EFF is only three years old, but is competing with long-established parties in Parliament.
EFF has surpassed these parties competitively … we are actually better than them,” he said to loud applause at the launch of the EFF’s August 3 local government elections manifesto at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg.
Parliament was no longer “for the elite and colonialists”, but a “people’s assembly”.
“We made those MPs to respect the public protector and her office … it is no longer a Parliament of MPs who fall asleep … even [President Jacob] Zuma doesn’t fall asleep anyway; the old man is always awake because there is no longer a bed of roses there,” he said.
The EFF’s umbilical cord was buried in Soweto, where a “people’s assembly” met and decided to form a political party in 2013. The party identified with Soweto struggle icons such as June 1976 student movement leader Tsietsi Mashinini.
“We are here to say to the June 16 generation that we picked up the baton and are continuing,” Malema said.
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Malema promises ‘people-centred’ municipalities
If elected in the August 3 local government elections, the EFF will create corruption-free municipalities centred around people’s needs, such as quality education, jobs, and basic services, Malema told the thousands of supporters at Orlando Stadium.
Over a thousand meetings had been held across the country with communities to hear their concerns ahead of the EFF’s election manifesto launch, he said.
The “inclusive municipalities” would be operational for six days a week with councillors living within their communities. All apartheid symbols and statues would be destroyed and streets renamed, Malema said.
EFF councillors would hold at least one community meeting a month and would be available around the clock to assist the communities they served.
“The EFF people’s municipality will put an end to cadre deployment practices and policies in all municipalities. All municipal employees will be employed on the basis of their qualifications and suitability for the job and not on the basis of which political party they belong to.”
Malema took a jibe at former Agang SA leader and academic Mamphela Ramphele, and said she would be employed by the EFF for her skills.
“Mamphela Ramphele, we know that you are unemployed, we will hire you because we hire for skills, not about which political party you belong to,” he said to applause and cheering.
Senior officials would not be allowed to own businesses within their communities and municipalities would build fresh food markets and stalls for locally produced food, with a minimum of 50% of basic goods, services, and products consumed in a municipality produced and manufactured within the area. – African News Agency (ANA)