18 June 2014
Thank you very much Speaker for the opportunity to address Parliament and the people of South Africa:
We acknowledge and greet the millions of South African workers, the poor, and downtrodden and dejected masses of our people particularly, the one million plus South Africans who voted for EFF to come to this parliament and represent the agenda of economic freedom in our life time without any fear of contradiction.
Our people mandated this movement (the EFF) to come and speak on behalf of the homeless, the landless, domestic workers, security guards, farm workers, cleaners, waiters and waitresses, recipients of social grants, construction workers, the unemployed and poverty stricken masses of our people who are forgotten by the ruling elite which are in bed with the oppressors and the imperialist forces.
I thought it was going to be difficult for me to carry this mandate with commitment against the party which taught me everything I know today about politics, but this was made easy by seeing Mr Martinus Van Schalvyk on the benches of the ruling party. I then quickly remembered that by the way we are not opposing the ANC we joined then, the ANC of Lawrence Phokanoke but the ANC of Martinus Van Schalvyk and Jacob Zuma. Mr President when you spoke yesterday you reaffirmed this believe that indeed we have chosen the correctpath because you no longer represent the hope of the hopeless masses of our people.
Your speech yesterday was uninspiring and lacked the central theme Mr President. No one will remember what you said last night except that we should clean on Mandela Day which was the only emphasis you made and maybe because you thought it was the simplest subject you had to deal with in the whole speech last night. What was supposed to be the simplest subject for you has proven to be more complex than you thought Mr President, because your cleaning instruction goes against the wishes of President Mandela who said it must be left to individual’s choice on how they wish to remember him or celebrate his life. I’m sorry MrPresident I won’t be cleaning on Mandela Day, but I will be involved in more productive activities which will live long lasting legacy in remembrance of our world icon Madiba.
Mr President you tried to speak about radical socio-economic changes in your speech last night but nothing you said was radical; instead we heard a repetition of what has been said before. I know very well that your attempt to make radical economic changes your central theme in your speech last night was a direct response to the existence of EFF or even an attempt to delegitimize it but you successfully failed in the same way you failed when you introduced the red beret to counter that of EFF during elections campaign. You and your party should stop playing with semantics especially when it relates to radical economic agenda because you lack courage and you have sold out the revolution. You don’t have what it takes to lead the struggle for economic emancipation of the black majority particularly Africans. You are extremely scared of white people, particularly white monopoly capital. You have in the past 20 years defended the privileges of white minority and continued with the exploitation and exclusion of the oppressed black majority.
The reason for such is because the elite pact that was forced upon the people in 1994 does not allow for radical economic transformation and changes. The pact defends the colonial and apartheid ownership patterns of the means of production including property. The ANC is part of an elite pact that seeks to protect white monopoly capital, and white minority privileges and this has led to the formation of the EFF because there was a political vacuum and nature does not allow the vacuum. The EFF is here to lead the struggle to dismantle the elite pact and introduce the sunrise clauses.
This pact has made you to even accept wrong things such as the laws that run this Parliament for the past 20 years, for example the 1975 Act that makes it compulsory for Members of Parliament to join a certain medical aid scheme and it only took EFF less than hundred days in Parliament to expose the unconstitutionality of such a law.
This elite pact is reflected by the fact that the most prominent statue in this Parliament, is a statue of Louis Botha, and the one of Nelson Mandela is very small and is hidden behind the statue of Louis Botha. Louis Botha is not our Hero and cannot be a Hero of a democratic South Africa. He is a colonial warmonger, who fought for the exclusion of black and indigenous people from running their own country and affairs. Its people like this who made white South Africans think they are superior and if we continue celebrating them, we are equally perpetuating white supremacy. The statue of Botha outside this Parliament must go down, because it represents nothing of what a democratic South Africa stands for.
That statue represents backwardness and apartheid and therefore it belongs to the dustbin of history and to be replaced with a bigger statue of seaparankwe Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela. We will never have true friendship and peace if white minority still behaves like they are superior and we should remain inferior in our country. All black people continue to learn the languages of white minorities as part of our attempt to reach out to them and create friendship but with very little attempt from their side to at least learn one of our African languages because they have a wrong mentality that we must suck up to them.
These are some of the legacies people like Louis Botha have left us and it must be crushed,we must not celebrate anything that perpetuates white supremacy. As part of nation building maybe we need to harsh steps by not celebrating any white person who doesn’t at least know or make an effort to at least know one of our African languages because by not knowing our languages or our culture they are effectively perpetuating the stereotypes of white supremacy. If you have a white friend as black person and he/she doesn’t know your language or not taking initiative to learn your language that person is no friend at all.
We need to undermine the legacy of apartheid through celebration of our blackness and unashamedly advance political, social and economical liberation of blacks in general and Africans in particular. We must do away with self hate treat and embrace who we are andwhat we stand for. The time for black majority to benefit from the natural, mineral and the beauty of their country is now and can never be postponed.
That is where we start, and now we should deal with the politics of what you said here yesterday and have been saying since you arrived here 20 years ago.
You promised jobs before and you have repeatedly failed to create jobs. In your first address to this house as President, you promised to create 500 000 jobs in six months and you failed, and no one held you accountable.
Our people are being called upon to celebrate 20 years of freedom, and we really do not know what they should celebrate, because the past 20 years has been 20 years of suffering for the poorest of the poor.
It has been 20 years of joblessness and unemployment for majority of our people, in particular the youth.
35% of South Africans capable of working are unemployed and majority of those who are employed are paid very low salaries.
Mr. President, whatever you have said about jobs has been as false and inconsistent as the performance of your party for the past twenty years. However you look at it, in 1995 unemployment was 15% and now, at this moment, it is at 25%, or 36% with an expanded definition. Seventy percent of this demographic are the youth. This is your legacy; you have more than doubled unemployment!
More than half of the working people earn R3300 or less.
A third of all workers are now employed through Labour Brokers.
And might I remind you, 2014 is a year in which you said you would have halved unemployment back in 2009.
You also promised to distribute 30% of the Land in this very year:
You promised to half poverty by 2014.
You promised to provide security of tenure to 400 000 households who live in informal settlements.
You keep making the same promises and misleading this house and honorable members clap hands. They encourage this mediocrity, lack of leadership, lying to the Nation and the poor.
You are a man of tradition; a tradition of empty promises. Now knowing you will not be there in 2030, please say nothing about it.
The President said a minimum wage shall be investigated. There is no need to investigate; this house must show leadership and courage. The workers have already shown the way.
Marikana: for five months now, workers in the platinum belt have been on strike, which demonstrates their genuine determination. They are looking for R12, 500 when the ANC Government massacred 34 of them two years ago for it. In honour of those who died inMarikana, let this house legislate for R12 500 but also as sign of showing that we regret theMarikana massacre.We also demand the establishment of Parliamentary Commission on the Conditions and Remuneration of Mineworkers including the auditing of the financial books of all the mines by the state to ascertain ourselves on how much is the mining sector making in this country because we don’t trust the current financial discloser by the mining sector.
Mr. President You have spoken about “radical socio-economic changes” and if indeed you meant what you said then you will agree with me that there’s nothing radical about preserving the current exploitative economic structure. Otherwise what has been suggested here is mere old wine in new bottles. We are back to GEAR by another name, which Blade Nzimandecalled the “1996 class project” and “the most serious strategic threat to the NDR”, in his factional battles with former president Thabo Mbeki.
Mr. President you clearly don’t know what radical economic transformation means. What is radical about EPWP? What is radical about buying stolen land? Maybe we must give you few tips on what is radical economic transformation.
Number one: You must be prepared to expropriate the land of our people, which was forcefully stolen, from them. You can no longer make an excuse of two-thirds majority because we can give it to you now. And I put it to you, if so, you will not have to wait for 2030 to create a million jobs in agriculture; this can be done in five years.
Number two: Radical economic transformation means that we must nationalize the mines and the actual mining activities in order to locally beneficiate and industrialize our mineral resources. You cannot say this is impossible, because justlast year you amended the MPRDA to enable you to take 20% of all the new petroleum companies.
Number three: Radical economic transformation means protected industrial development and expansion, not just the protection of rubber, shoes and leather jackets. We need to pursue import substitution industrialization. We must pursue planned and decentralized urbanization and not celebrate what you call rapid urbanization which in actual fact is rural depopulation due to lack of a coherent rural development plan.
Number four: Radical economic transformation means you must provide freequality education for all until the attainment of the first degree. This means you must expand post secondary educational and training, and not the super glorified high schools that you are going to build in Mpumalanga and Nothern Cape which can only take 350 people a year combined when only last year 700 000 matriculantssat for their senior certificate examinations. In the mean time Mr President send 10 000 students to the best Universities in the world through free scholarship. All successful countries sent students to all parts of the world, and that is what SouthAfrica should do. By the way, it’s a shame that twenty years later you come here to roll out a program on eradication of mud schools.
You were on paraffin speed building stadiums for the 2010 Soccer World Cup, but you are failing to build schools, and you are failing basic things such as toilets. Our people still do not have basic things such as toilets.
Number five: Radical economic transformation means we must play a leading role in the development of the African economy. Not the 33.2 billion-trade exchange that you claim happened last year, when in actual fact it was trade between multinational cooperations.
Number six: Radical economic transformation means that the government must have capacity to perform its own function and not rely only on the private sector. This means we must have a state construction company that has got massive capacity to build bridges, houses and roads.
Number seven: radical economic transformation means that we must have corrupt free government. And this means no one must take government money and build his own house, and say “I know nothing about it”. We must fight institutionalisedcorruption and defeat cleptocrasy
That is what we call radical economic transformation, which will lead to economic freedom in our lifetime. This is the radical economic transformation, which your own members spoke about, in your third National General Council in 2010 when they said there was greater consensus on the nationalization of mines and other strategic sectors of the economy.
You failed to do that because you are driven and paralyzed by fear. The fear of white monopoly capital and white minorities which both you and the DA worship.
Both the DA and the ANC agree on the capitalist National Development Plan.
The DA and the ANC agree on Labour Brokers.
The DA and the ANC agree that workers wages must be kept low, because they believe that such is the only way to attract investors.
The DA and the ANC agree that mines must remain in the hands of multinational cooperations
The ANC and the DA both provide open toilets for our people
The DA and the ANC agree that Land should continue to be owned by few white people who illegally got it through colonial dispossession.
If the ANC disputes that it does not agree with the DA on Land reform, here is the Two Thirds Majority required to change the Constitution, particularly the property Clause.
Let us change the Constitution to empower the State to expropriate land for equal redistribution without paying for it because this land, our land was stolen.
When all is said and done, we carry a collective obligation to reverse colonial dispossession, and this should be thoroughly understood within a proper theoretical and ideological understanding.
Mr. President we are here in this parliament to put firmly on the table the agenda for economic freedom in our life time, which you and your current deputy president thought you successfully suppressed when you dealt with some of us. Mr President the message from our people is very clear, you can’t stop the idea who’s time has come, you can arrest us or even kill us but you will never kill or arrest our ideas.
Lastly and on a personal note, this can only be translated to you by the only reliable minister you have your cabinet Dr Aron Motswaledi , le ge o ka itima metse o tla bona e nwele.
Thank you very much.
ISSUED BY THE ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS
MBUYISENI QUINTIN NDLOZI (National Spokesperson)
Cell Number: +27 73 133 3012 | +27 (61) 482 6589