Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema cut a lonely figure as his call for the nationalisation of banks without compensation was torn to shreds by political parties‚ with MPs calling it unconstitutional and a “mad” idea.
Malema had sponsored the motion which was debated in the National Assembly yesterday.
ANC MP Adrian Williams was the first to reject the motion.
“The implications of nationalising the banks without compensation are quite expensive.
“As a nation‚ we need to collectively see what will happen if we nationalise the banks without compensation.”
He said some people saw nationalisation as a “silver bullet that will cure our problems”.
However, “we must engage on consequences, we cannot simply use our feelings that may be rooted in a cut-and-paste populist ideology that was invented by the EFF in 2013”.
Williams said he was not standing before the National Assembly to defend the banks. “I’m standing here to defend the people.”
He said the banks’ debts would have to be paid by South Africans.
Malema had said the banks owned land and huge commercial properties such as malls and industrial parks.
“Banks control and run the lives of so many people,” Malema said.
“State-owned banks will be run by qualified professionals and deployees of political parties.” He said in other more developed countries like China‚ banks played an important role in driving development and the Chinese government owned more than 20 banks.
DA MP David Maynier said the EFF had not done its homework and nationalising banks without compensation was a mad idea.
He said hardworking people needed to know that the EFF wanted to seize billions of their savings invested in banks.
The IFP’s Mkhuleko Hlengwa said the move would “take us back”.
African Christian Democratic Party leader Kenneth Meshoe said nationalising banks would accelerate state capture.
The African Independent Congress, Agang SA‚ Freedom Front Plus and National Freedom Party all rejected the motion.