The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) is calling on South Africa’s “oppressed and exploited” to march on the Union Buildings, Chamber of Mines, and Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) next month to demand what rightfully belongs to them”.
Announcing its plans for two days of “mass action” on October 27 and 28 the league said, “This serves as a clarion call to all economic freedom fighters that total liberation and emancipation of the oppressed and exploited people of South Africa will not only happen in boardrooms and conferences.” Some actions the ANCYL demands include:
- Nationalization of mines
- Expropriation of land without compensation
- Expansion of government services
- Free education
- Jobs for all
ANCYL leaders hope to attract at least 100,000 supporters for the march. A league statement said, “The ANCYL takes this approach of mass mobilization because of our strong conviction that bettering the lives of South Africans will not happen in boardrooms and through endless negotiations. It is time that we mobilize South Africa’s youth and progressive forces to demand jobs and an equal share of wealth from big business and corporations who are benefiting at the cost and exclusion of the historically disadvantaged.”
The freedom fighters march comes on the heels of a “stone-throwing mob of youth league supporters who turned the streets of Johannesburg into a riot zone during last month’s appearance of its president, Julius Malema, on disciplinary charges at the ANC’s headquarters at Luthuli House”. See my September 7, 2011 blog.
Asked if he could assure South Africans that similar riots would not occur during this march, youth league Deputy President Ronald Lamola said that his organization’s supporters are “the most disciplined members in society”.
The league hopes to attract a broad spectrum of potentially disaffected or dissatisfied sectors of society to the event by “mobilizing unemployed youth, underprivileged students, and under-employed youth – such as waiters, petrol attendants, farm workers, receptionists, landless people, and people without water and electricity”.
The Chamber of Mines is a South African mining-industry employer in downtown Johannesburg. Founded December 7, 1887, its members include famous South African diamond and gold mining houses such as Anglo-American De Beers, Goldfields, and Harmony.
Located in Sandton, an affluent Johannesburg suburb, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is the largest stock exchange in Africa. In 2003 the “JSE had an estimated 472 listed companies and a market capitalisation of US$182.6 billion, as well as an average monthly traded value of US$6.399 billion. As of 30 September 2006, the market capitalisation of the JSE was at US$579.1 billion. The JSE is presently the 16th largest stock exchange worldwide”.
The Union Buildings in Pretoria are a South African National monument and the official seat of the South African government. They house the offices of the President of South Africa, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma.
Top ANCYL officials include:
- President – Julius Malema
- Deputy President – Ronald Lamola
- Secretary-General – Sindiso Magaqa
- Deputy Secretary-General – Keneilwe Mosenogi
- Treasurer-General – Pule Mabe
- ANCYL Spokesperson – Floyd Shivambu