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The time for “socioeconomic justice” has come, African National Congress (ANC) MP Winnie Madikizela-Mandela said on Sunday, South African Broadcasting Corporation news reported.
“Our people demand socioeconomic justice and they demand it now,” she said.
Madikizela-Mandela was speaking at a May Day rally in Atteridgeville, West of Pretoria.
She said that the poor could not wait for “a more convenient season” for the struggle for economic freedom.
“We must be at the forefront of this struggle. We should not be insensitive to the plight and concerns of the masses,” Madikizela-Mandela said.
Criticism of the Democratic Alliance and the media featured strongly in speeches at the Congress of South African Trade Unions rally in Athlone, Cape Town.
Present at the rally were ANC president Jacob Zuma, Cape Town’s ANC mayoral candidate Tony Ehrenreich, South African Communist Party (SACP) secretary general Blade Nzimande, as well as several ministers.
A turnout of about 1 000 people at the 40 000-seater stadium did not seem to worry the speakers, who took to the stage and condemned the DA for not doing enough for the poor people living in Cape Town.
Ehrenreich said the DA had failed to provide proper public transport, health and education facilities for the poor.
The DA had built them open-air toilets, while the party took care of the rich, he said.
As mayor—if the ANC won the upcoming local government election—he said he would ensure better health, education and housing in places like Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain and Gugulethu.
‘Time has come to free Cape Town’
He also promised to build houses for the poor in Constantia should the ANC win.
“The first thing to do is build homes for our people in Constantia where government owns land,” he said to cheers from the crowd.
Nzimande agreed that the ANC would win Cape Town on May 18 and accused the opposition and the media of working together against the ANC.
He said the good deeds the ANC carried out were never written about, but instead the “bosses and their media” spread messages of “despair”.
“Yes, there are many challenges ... but the capitalist bosses and their media want us to lose trust in our vote and hope in our democracy.
“They want us lose confidence in the government we’ve voted for.”
Nzimande described the DA as “two stooges and a madam” and urged people not to take them seriously as Cape Town was “the most unequal city” in the country.
He said Cape Town was a city where the “rich are very rich and the majority are poor”.
Zuma, who spoke to a much smaller audience as many people had left the stadium by late afternoon, said the election provided an opportunity for the people of Cape Town and the province to make a new beginning.
“The elections provide an opportunity to make new choices that will take the province back to its proud non-racial and inclusive congress tradition. This we can do by giving the ANC an overwhelming majority that would make it impossible for other parties to repeat what they did in the past, of ganging up against the ANC in Cape Town and the Western Cape.
“On the 18th of May, we must declare that the time has come to free Cape Town and the Western Cape.”
Zuma said the ANC had done much in terms of job creation, housing, education and of providing water and electricity to the poor, but he said the party was aware that much more needed to be done.
He said Cape Town was also a priority for the party and promised development in all sectors.
He also assured th crowd the alliance was strong and unified.
Zuma also introduced 13 new members to the ANC from other political parties, one of whom was the leader of the Twelve Apostles Church in Cape Town and a former member of the United Democratic Movement, Dumisani Ximbi.
Zuma said Ximbi’s followers, which numbered about a million, were sure to follow him to the ANC and vote for the party on May 18. - Sapa