Distressed Limpopo town 'could be better than Gauteng' under EFF - Malema
Tubatse, which has the largest platinum reserves in South Africa, could easily be like Gauteng, and even better, says EFF leader Julius Malema.
Delivering the party's provincial manifesto in Riba Cross, near Burgersfort, Limpopo, on Saturday, Malema asked residents from there and surrounding villages to vote for the EFF, come May 8.
"Gauteng is this way because of gold," said the EFF leader.
He said Tubatse deserved a new town created by "democracy" because it had minerals.
"You have platinum. This place should be better than Gauteng cause discovery of minerals is the one that leads into industrialisation," he said.
Gauteng, also known as the city of gold, is the country's economic hub.
Malema said the EFF would seek to industrialise the place, making sure minerals dug from the ground were cleaned and processed in the areas before being shipped out.
"When we take over government, we must make sure this area benefits the people who live here.
They cannot say you have platinum, but you have no clue what platinum actually looks like, you’ve never seen it in real life," he said earlier.
Malema, remarking on life in what has been classified as one of South Africa's distressed mining towns, said the areas had platinum yet lacked water and electricity.
Malema went on to share what he believed mining towns should look like.
"We want to put mines under an EFF government, so where there's a mine we should have roads, houses with indoor toilets.
We must have 24-hour clinics, old people don't just get sick during the day," he remarked.
Over and above a working sewer system and electricity he said there needed to be quality schools in the area.
Want to dissolve Tubatse council
In asking for a mandate from the people of his home province, Malema said he knew the council in Tubatse was without a speaker, accusing those in the governing party there of constantly being at loggerheads.
"These people are fighting, they don't want to give each other chances, they all want to lead at the same time," he said.
Malema said if they continued with their battles in council only the people who live in the area would suffer.
"We have to take provincial leadership so we can collapse this municipality and replace them under administration of an EFF government," he told crowds of EFF supporters.
He predicted the mayor would soon be removed and the municipality will eventually collapse due to endless fights.
Not friends with Motsepe He hit out at some of the local mines in the area, while proposing his party's idea of placing all mines in the hands of the government.
Malema said this would allow communities to benefit.
"We are not friends with Patrice Motsepe, we don't eat with him, we don't eat with the mines, we want to eat with the community, because if you don't eat, no one should eat,” he said referring to South African business magnate who owns the African Rainbow Arms Mineral.
He also attacked Samancor for arresting people seeking to mine chrome.
The mining company, which owns a series of mining assets, is yet to mine for chrome in some areas.
"Samancor [should] stop arresting people mining chrome, saying they are committing a crime, it's been holding a mining licence from 1973 without mining chrome; now when you try, they fight with you saying they are going to mine it after 30 years, you are not going to eat after 30 years - we want to eat now, that’s why you are mining chrome now,” he said as the crowd cheered.
Malema said his government would teach people how to do this properly so that the land is not destroyed by people seeking to mine in a particular area.
He also called on the benefits gained from Morula Platinum Mine to be shared with ordinary villages, claiming only traditional leaders benefited.
"It must benefit communities, not just traditional leaders and some individuals. We must eat with our chiefs," said Malema who wrapped up his speech and made his way to Mpumalanga to launch that province's manifesto and ask for support for his party at the looming polls.