The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, Julius Malema, has slammed Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi over his "taverns of the future" project in the townships.
Lesufi announced the partnership with Heineken in a tweet this week, but has yet to disclose details about it, except to say it was about uplifting tavern owners and communities in terms of economic growth.
"It's Lesufi who says people must drink alcohol. We want the youth to register to vote.. .How does a Premier say we are going to have modern taverns in townships and not in town? Because in town it's white people," he said speaking on the campaign trail urging people to register to vote.
"Let's not prioritise alcohol, it is not a solution," Malema said.
He urged the youth to be responsible and know that the future was in their hands.
"They like it when you surrender to alcohol, that is why the encourage taverns in the townships.
Malema visited Hitekani Primary School in Soweto to monitor the start of the first voter registration weekend as parties gear up towards the 2024 general elections.
Engaging with the media, Malema said they were in Soweto, an ANC base with a focus of getting the youth to register to vote in their numbers.
He said that Soweto was the ANC base and could not be removed without going where it’s rooted.
"The people of Soweto need to be conscientised that this is not the ANC they associated with during the struggle. It is the most corrupt and turned against its own people.
"You cannot do it from a distance, you have to come here and interact with people and also encourage fighters themselves that what they are doing is the right and must never doubt that," he said.
However, he urged his members not to deny other political members from campaigning, calling for other parties to be the same and tolerant.
He said the EFF was a threat to the ANC in Soweto.
"If there is any party that threatens the ANC in Soweto, it is the EFF," he maintained.
“The youth of South Africa is associated with the EFF, the EFF attracts the young intelligentsia, it attracts young people who are active, clever and aware of the wrongs of our society."