We want free education, from Grade 1 to Grade 12, says EFF's Julius Malema

By Samkelo Mtshali Time of article published Oct 27, 2021

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Durban - EFF leader Julius Malema has called for free education from Grade 1 to 12 and at tertiary level while also advocating for feeding schemes at tertiary institutions.

He made the comments on Tuesday while on the campaign trail in the township of Madadeni in Newcastle, drawing a large crowd of red-clad EFF supporters and community members whom he had kept waiting for hours after his address scheduled for 10am only began after 2pm on Tuesday.

“We want free education, from Grade 1 to Grade 12. We want proper feeding schemes, we want free education also at tertiary level, we don’t want registration fees, we don’t want our children to pay not even a cent.

“We also want to introduce a feeding scheme at tertiary level and the feeding scheme is not going to replace the allowances that you are getting from NSFAS, you must take that money and get food at a tertiary level so that our children pay attention to learning and nothing else,” Malema said.

He told the scores of people that had gathered at Dedangifunde High School, in Madadeni, that if they did not give students food at tertiary level they would be turning them into prostitutes who then go to look for sugar daddies in order to survive at school.

Malema also said they wanted students to find everything inside the schools so that they do not see the need to go outside.

He also called for the old-age pension to be doubled because the elderly, especially grandmothers, were the ones who supported African families.

“When they get their money they buy a bag of mealie, cabbage and tomatoes for all of us and when you are lucky that day they buy chicken and you eat chicken that day, so why are you not giving them more money because you know where they’re taking the money to?

“So we must double their money in order for our children to eat at school and to eat at home so that they don’t do any other thing except to be children, even the R350 of children, we want it to be doubled because it’s not enough. You can’t even buy diapers with R350 and it’s finished,” Malema said.

Malema’s campaign in Newcastle also saw the battle lines being drawn between the EFF and the ANC in the farming town of Newcastle, northwest of KwaZulu-Natal, with the leader of the red berets laying the gauntlet before the governing ANC ahead of next Monday’s local government elections.

Malema told the large crowd in Madadeni that they should not be enticed by ANC T-shirts, because they had been given T-shirts and no jobs from the time of the late ANC president Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma and now Cyril Ramaphosa but instead they should demand proper housing, jobs and other services from the governing party.

However, Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba, the ANC Emalahleni Region chairperson and mayor of Newcastle Local Municipality said the ANC-led municipality had employed over 60% of youth, with over 40% of managers being youth, making the municipality one of the leading government institutions which has employed young people.

“In the past five years, over 500 youths have been trained by the municipality under the municipal skills development programme; 97% of these youths are from Madadeni, Osizweni, Blaauwbosch and other parts of Newcastle.

“Our employment objective is to ensure that we empower our local youths and we usually employ youths that have studied at our local colleges, as part of our skills retention programme,” Mahlaba said.

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Political Bureau

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