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Blacks still poor 20 years later - Malema

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IOL  EFF manifesto Thembisa

K Ngoepe/Sapa

EFF supporters filled the Mehlareng stadium in Tembisa ahead of the party's elections manifesto launch.

* This story has been updated.

Tembisa - Black South Africans are still poor while the country celebrates 20 years of democracy in 2014, EFF leader Julius Malema said on Saturday.

“Twenty years later, blacks are still not free,” he said.

“Twenty years later, black people are still trapped in squalor, unsafe and unhealthy conditions.”

Malema was addressing thousands of Economic Freedom Fighters supporters at the Mehlareng stadium in Tembisa during the party's manifesto launch.

He was welcomed to the stage with singing and dancing.

Malema told supporters that the majority of blacks were still landless and hopeless.

“Twenty years later, young and old black workers are still subjected to slave wages and dangerous working conditions in the mines, farms, (and) factories.”

Malema said it was up to the EFF to offer and deliver hope and inspiration to the people of South Africa.

He said the party was an organisation and movement for all people and the time had come for South Africans to share equally in the wealth of the country.

“Now is the time to bury corruption and self enrichment of politicians.”

In terms of jobs, Malema said his party believed all jobs in the country should be permanent.

The EFF would implement legislation that would ensure this.

He said an EFF-led government would implement a minimum wage of R4 500 across the board for all full time workers.

“Mineworkers will earn R12 500 per month, farm workers R5 000 per month, manufacturing workers R6 500 per month,” he said.

Retail workers would get R5 000 a month while builders would earn R7 000.

Malema said there would be equal pay for equal work irrespective of gender, race, class and place of origin.

The EFF leadersaid his party would implement the National Health Insurance.

"The EFF government will expedite the implementation of National Health Insurance," he said.

He said the EFF would build state-owned companies that would help bring better healthcare.

The companies would include a pharmaceutical company to produce medicine and distribute it to hospitals and clinics.

"The EFF government will build a state owned healthcare equipment company to build healthcare equipment," he said.

He added that the party would also ensure traditional healers were incorporated into the healthcare system.

Malema said under the EFF social grants would increase.

"Social grants are an important aspect of bringing the poorest of the poor into some level of economic participation and EFF will introduce a

The grant for pensioners would increase from R1300 to R2600 per month and disability grants would go up from R1200 to R2400.

Child support grants would increase from R300 to R600 per month, he said.

War veterans would get an increase from R1220 to R2400, care dependency from R1 200 to R2 400 and foster child grants from R800 to R1600.

The EFF government would introduce a social grant of R2 500 per month for all terminally ill South Africans, he added.

Loud cheers and claps followed Malema's statements.

Many in the crowd said the move would be appreciated.

On corruption, the EFF would introduce a 20-year prison sentence for public servants who were found guilty.

Malema said the party would establish a state administration court which would deal with matters of corruption.

He said the EFF would also protect the independence of the offices of the public protector, auditor general and all other institutions which oversaw government programmes.

The EFF government will also provide free quality education, Malema said.

“It (government) will put in place mechanisms to encourage students to attain post-graduate degrees and qualifications,” he said.

“The EFF government will impose an education tax on all corporations which will be the source of funding for the education and training of all South Africans.”

He said 15,000 pupils would get scholarships to study abroad.

“Five thousand will be medical practitioners (sent ) to the best universities across the world to attain skills,” he said.- Sapa


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