The rich and those living in mansions will have to pay property wealth tax, says Malema
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EFF leader Julius Malema yesterday launched his party’s election manifesto, vowing to build RDP houses next to affluent areas of Sandton in Joburg and other parts in the country where there are flourishing upmarket houses.
Those living in such upmarket and suburban areas, including Houghton, will also be expected to pay a “property wealth tax” to subsidise recipients of Sassa grants.
Malema also promised heavy tax rebates to small businesses that were prepared to revive defunct factories and create job opportunities for unemployed people.
He was speaking at the launch of his party’s election manifesto and celebrations to mark what would have been the 85th birthday of late struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at Gandhi Square in the Joburg CBD on Sunday.
The event culminated in the renaming of the EFF headquarters at Gandhi Square after Madikizela-Mandela.
According to Malema, the EFF’s election manifesto covered the needs of all people, including the rural poor and those deprived of fishing licences.
Addressing the more than 15 000 people who attended the launch, he said an EFF government “was going to identify land next to Sandton to build RDP houses in the area. This is to promote integrated human settlements. We belong to each other and you must live together.”
Referring to so-called hijacked buildings in Tshwane, Joburg and other metropolitan areas, he said his party was going to repossess these to create accommodation for poor people.
“We are not saying those buildings were hijacked by foreigners. We are saying those buildings were hijacked by criminals and must be returned to the people,” Malema said.
He said places such as Hillbrow and Berea in Joburg, and Sunnyside in Pretoria, were among his party’s first priorities when it came to repossession to create houses and student accommodation.
Malema also announced his party was going to impose a “property wealth tax” on all who resided in suburban areas of South Africa. This was an apparent major change to similar comments he made two weeks ago, while addressing supporters in Bophelong. At that time, he insinuated only white people would be expected to make such a payment, to subsidise those who are recipients of Sassa grants.
During his address on Sunday Malema said: “The property wealth tax will affect those that live in big houses and have big yards. We are going to tax them because they are rich; they must subsidise the poor.
“It means Dali (advocate Dali Mpofu SC) who lives in Houghton must pay for a person. [It] includes myself ... I live in Sandton. I must pay the property wealth tax,” Malema said.
He said the tax would ensure recipients of Sassa grants and indigent families had their water and electricity payments subsidised.
Yesterday, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s family welcomed the EFF’s decision to name its headquarters in Gandhi Square after her.
Members of Madikizela-Mandela’s family attended the event, including her daughter, Zenani Mandela-Dlamini, currently South Africa’s Ambassador to the Republic of Korea.
Speaking after viewing the building, which was previously occupied by the ANC Joburg region, Mandela-Dlamini said: “I flew all the way from the Republic of Korea to be with you on my mother’s birthday. My family wants me to tell you how much we appreciate the EFF in that it has never and will never forget my mother.
“Her memory lies in each and everyone of us. We thank you for keeping her legacy alive.”