Malema punts mineral wealth for job creation 

Residents of the diamond-rich Northern Cape province could see not only job creation but business opportunities in the local beneficiation of the lucrative mineral resource, according to EFF leader Julius Malema. 

Speaking at a community meeting on the party’s campaign trail in Colesburg, Malema said the diamonds produced in the province were supposed to be manufactured into finished products for export markets. 

“After you remove it, you should polish it here. After that factory, take it to the next factory to be cut. And cutting diamonds is not child’s play. It requires attention to minute details. After cutting it, you take it to those who produce jewellery, and then it comes out as a finished product that we sell not only to ourselves but to the whole world.” 

Malema lamented that factories were closing in South Africa, which led to job losses. “Let’s look at manufacturing, for instance. It used to contribute 24.4% to the GDP; today’s contribution is 14%. Manufacturing includes, among other things, steel and textiles.”  

He said textiles were very popular in the Cape, but factories closed. “So when you create jobs, you don’t have to do anything sophisticated. You have to go back and reopen those textile factories so that you can hire our own people to produce textiles in South Africa.” 

That way, the country would not rely on finished goods from China. “So, we have to go and reopen these steel factories that are closing down because steel is produced from chrome.  

“We have a lot of chrome that we take out of South Africa that produces steel and bring it back as a finished goods called steel. But if we mined chrome and opened the processing factory next to the mine, that is job creation. Beneficiation is job creation.” 

Malema warned that trucks full of chrome, manganese and platinum were not merely trucks. “Those are jobs going away from South Africa. Because if we were producing those things, not a single one of you was going to be unemployed.” 

He said it was incorrect to attribute the lack of jobs to Zimbabweans flooding South Africa and accepting low-paying posts.  

“When they say to you that Zimbabweans are taking your jobs, this is not true. Because you must ask them a question. If you say Zimbabweans are taking our jobs, which factory opened in the last six years and took Zimbabweans because we want to go to that factory and remove those Zimbabweans? There is no such.” 

He said South Africa required a government independent of Western Europe, America or the UK due to their hostility towards China and Russia.  

“Russia wanted to come and build nuclear power plants. If we had allowed them, then there would not be loadshedding today, but today Europeans are refusing because they are not going to benefit from that transaction. 

“So you need a clear government that is going to say to America; you can’t tell me who my friends are. I don’t choose friends for you; you can’t choose friends for me.” 

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