BY: SIVIWE FEKETHA
Johannesburg – EFF leader Julius Malema has defended residents who use illegal electricity connections in townships and informal settlements, saying his government would not punish them if the red berets assumed power.
Malema was addressing thousands of EFF supporters in Alexandra, Johannesburg, where the party held its May Day rally.
Alexandra is one of the country’s most congested, with many people erecting illegal structures and connecting to the grid illegally.
Malema said the ability of residents to connect electricity for themselves was actually exposing the failures and shortcomings of government.
“That is not illegal connection. That is leadership. You are providing leadership where there is no leadership. An EFF government will never call you izinyokanyoka for connecting electricity. If we find you, we are going to fix it properly for you instead. If ordinary people can do it, it means government can perfect it,” he said.
Malema said Alexandra was a reflection of the abandonment of the black majority in the country by the ANC-led government.
“If you want to know what black people are subjected to all over the country, you must come to Alexandra. If you wanted to know what the ANC has done in the past 25 years, come to Alexandra,” he said.
The previous ANC-led government in the City of Johannesburg has been criticised over the expenditure of the R1.6-billion which was earmarked for the Alex Renewal Project.
“We don’t see any renewal here. All we see is a dirty, abandoned place. This is a place of forgotten people. (ANC treasure general) Paul Mashatile must tell us where the Alexandra renewal money is,”Malema said.
Malema also defended those who illegally invade land to erect structures in the township.
Last month, Alexandra residents took to the streets as they protested against poor service delivery and people who were illegally invading their land and building houses and shacks.
Malema said the land invaders also needed land.
“I am told that there are people here in Alex who call themselves property owners and who demolish your houses. The EFF says we must expropriate land without compensation and give it to the people of Alexandra to build their own houses. There will be no fool who says you cannot build your shack or how here,” he said.