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Memorandum to the Executive at the Union Buildings

28 October 2011

We, the youth of South Africa, the unemployed, marginalised, homeless, the economically downtrodden, and all of us who wish to have access to quality free education, housing, electricity, and sustainable livelihoods demand urgent economic freedom in our lifetime. Economic freedom in our lifetime means total achievement of Freedom Charter objectives, particularly on the transfer of wealth to the ownership of the people as a whole.

The South African government whose executive authority is at the Union Building is where political power resides. The attainment of political power meant that it should be deliberately and decisively utilised to redress the imbalances of the past, build a democratic developmental state, and ensure sustainable political, social and economic emancipation of those oppressed, excluded, exploited and subjugated by colonial and apartheid white supremacy. Together with Parliament, the Executive carries and power and weight to radically transform society for the better.

We come here as Economic Freedom Fighters carrying the burden of the millions of the economically excluded, subjugated, oppressed, exploited and depressed South Africans in the Economic Freedom Mass Action under the leadership of the ANC Youth League to make the following demands:

To the Executive at the Union Buildings we demand the following:

  1. Amendment of section 25 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa to make provision for the expropriation without compensation of property, particularly land, for equitable redistribution in the public interest and for public purpose.
  2. Urgent enactment of a policy framework and programme which will focus on the food economy and empowerment of communities to produce food for themselves and food for their immediate schools, hospitals, prisons and other public and private institutions that consume food.
  3. The South African government and all State institutions should by 2014 be buying a minimum of 40% of food for hospitals, schools and prisons from small scale farmers and agricultural practitioners.
  4. All productive land must be nationalized, and provided on lease-basis as opposed to freehold to those interested in utilizing the land in line with our national priorities.
  5. Nationalization of strategic sectors and the commanding heights of the economy to realise the Freedom Charter`s clarion call that the people shall share in the country`s wealth. As per the dictates of the Freedom Charter such strategic sectors must include "the mineral wealth beneath the soil, the Banks and monopoly industry". The state must also have greater ownership and control SASOL, Arcelor-Mittal, the Cement Industry, and creation of a reliable, consistent State Oil company.
  6. Establishment of a State Bank, which will have direct relationship with the Reserve Bank and used to finance rural development and industrialisation, mortgage and vehicle finance and financing of small and medium enterprises and businesses.
  7. Increased funding for the National Youth Development Agency.
  8. Urgent prioritisation of eradication of informal settlements across the country. The Ministry of Finance should dedicate all resources to the eradication of informal settlements, instead of subsidisation of established corporations and companies.
  9. Urgent electrification of neighbourhoods and settlements with no electricity, and re-connection of electricity was cut off by Municipalities.
  10. Urgent provision of water and sanitation to all communities which do not have access to these services.
  11. Urgent prioritisation of provision of skills and free quality education to all students until attainment of the first post-tertiary qualifications. This should include speeding up the establishment of Universities in the Provinces of Mpumalanga and Northern Cape.
  12. Immediate banning of Labour Brokers and illegalisation of all Labour brokering process.
  13. Urgent filling of all vacancies in all spheres of government and public service. The State should relax experience requirements for young employees, particularly at employment entrance levels with clear programme to transfer skills and empower new and younger employees in all spheres with employment generation potential and capacity.
  14. Immediate development and adoption of a spatial development framework which will lead to development of new economic centres and cities in other parts of South Africa.
  15. Development and adoption of an industrial strategy which will lead to promotion of exportation of finished goods and services and import substitution.
  16. Creation of a Sovereign Wealth Fund whose proceeds will be directed to investments in the development and growth of the African economy.
  17. Adoption of a more progressive foreign policy which will lead to South Africa prioritising trade, political, economic and social relations with countries that share the same values with what guides the National Liberation Movement. This should include active isolation of countries that openly embrace imperialism and threatening Africa`s security.
  18. Building of a strong State capacity to fulfil its functions, particularly in the delivery of services in order to substitute the practice of the State tendering, outsourcing and contracting the provision of services and construction of vital infrastructure and settlements.
  19. Demand that the South African government desists from renting buildings for state accommodation purposes but rather construct and/or own all buildings where it is accommodated in all spheres of government.
  20. 20. Establishment of a bursary scheme which will fund a minimum of 10 000 students every year studying in the best Universities across the world.
  21. All forms of economic planning and allocation of resources in South Africa should consider the reality of socio-economic migration, both legal and illegal migration. The labour rights of immigrants should be protected within the labour laws of the country.
  22. Establishment of new industrial development zones as part of a conscious and deliberate strategy to uplift the economies of rural communities and begin to abolish the rural/urban divide.

Further demand the following from the South African government:

  1. Nationalisation of South Africa`s Mines. The State should own and control a minimum of 60% of South Africa`s Mines.
  2. Local beneficiation and industrialisation of a minimum of 60% of the minerals extracted from beneath South Africa`s soil. The beneficiation should happen in the communities where Mining happens.
  3. Provision of education, skills and expertise to South African youth in order to capacitate them to play a meaningful role in the entire mining value-chain.
  4. Betterment of working conditions in all Mines to prevent avoidable fatalities and diseases.
  5. Better salaries and wages for all Mineworkers, and provision of full employment for workers currently employed as contract workers.
  6. An end to import-parity pricing on the South Africa minerals to boast the manufacturing, industrialisation and infrastructure development.
  7. Active involvement of Mining corporations in the development of Mining communities, particularly on the construction and maintenance of roads, health facilities, schools, technical training colleges, and other public infrastructure.
  8. Local manufacturing of supplies and other necessities required for mining, including beneficiation and industrialisation.
  9. Development of a concrete social and labour development model, which will ensure that communities around the Mines are developed out of the proceeds of Mining,
  10. Re-alignment of South Africa`s Industrial Policy and action plan around to consider the reality that the State will be in control and ownership of Mines and mineral resources, so as to guide a concrete plan on minerals` beneficiation and industrialisation.
  11. Amendment of Section 25 of South Africa`s Constitution to empower the State to expropriate in the public interest with or without compensation.
  12. Cessation of threats of disinvestment by Mining Capital.
  13. Compensation of Mining communities that continue to suffer diseases and infections as a result of Mining and minerals` extraction, particularly the asbestos communities.
  14. Urgent action plans and programmes from all private corporations which will lead to the transfer of wealth to the ownership and control of historically disadvantaged individuals. By 2019, the ownership and control of companies and corporations doing business in South Africa should reflect the demographics of South Africa.
  15. Urgent action plans and programme from all companies and corporations in the JSE on how to increase and sustain the labour-absorptive capacity of their companies. This should be accompanied by thoroughly drafted human resources, skills transfer, training, and education provision with sustainable care programmes. This should happen within two years.
  16. Urgent action plans from all private corporations on how to decentralise South Africa`s economic development from the existing centres of economic development to other parts of the country. This is vital and should be incentivised through massive public infrastructure investments and tax incentives for corporations with practical plans to increase their labour absorptive capacity to a minimum of 5000 within 2 years in new areas of economic development.
  17. Urgent action plans and programmes from all private corporations to employ workers directly with proper payments and benefits and NOT through labour brokers.
  18. Urgent development and implementation of Corporate Social Investment plans, which will bring real value and benefit to communities where business operations happen.
  19. End to expatriation of the profits to developed countries such as New York, Paris and London.

The demands to the South African government are not only urgent, but can be realised sooner because government holds the political power to change society for the better. It is through political and mass power that the South African State and particularly government can transform society into a better society inspired by the Freedom Charter programme and aspirations.

These demands are genuine and should be acceded to with immediate effect, because we cannot afford to wait any longer.

Signed by the ANC Youth League and RSA Government.