Amid the topical rand manipulation saga by local and international banking groups, EFF leader Julius Malema says establishing a state-owned bank will be one of his party’s priorities, should the red berets win the 2024 general elections.
Malema was addressing hundreds of Kwazulu-Natal ground forces at the Royal Showgrounds, Olympia Hall in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday afternoon.
This as the party gets into high gear in preparation of what is billed to be the watershed elections since South Africa’s democratic breakthrough.
Over a week ago, almost 30 commercial banks came under fire for alleged price-fixing involving the local currency.
British multinational bank Standard Chartered was recently fined about R42-million by the Competition Commission after it admitted to engaging in currency manipulation.
Malema told the ground forces that the only way to challenge the commercial banks is to establish a state-owned banking group.
Alternative to capitalist policies
“The leadership of the EFF, when it takes over power, must introduce alternative policies to capitalist policies,” Malema said.
“One of the most practical things that we need to do is to establish our own state-owned bank that will compete with other banks.
“When you say ‘we want to establish a state-owned bank’, they have a problem with that. They say ‘what will happen to the other four banks [Absa, Capitec, Standard Bank and Nedbank], because you are going to collapse them’,”
Malema explained further: “It’s not true, because there are state-owned and privately-owned things. For instance, there is a state-owned hospital and private hospitals, there are state-owned schools and private schools.
“Therefore, let there be a state-owned bank as well and privately-owned banks – let the one that provides reasonable rates for our people be the priority or choice.
“Today, the banks manipulate the rand and no one has ever suggested any radical action against the banks, because we are being controlled and captured by capital.”
He said the banking groups manipulated the rand, “made the repayment of your car, your house bond, the repayment of your loans more expensive, which means they made more money than they were supposed to get”.
He explained: “So, once the masses unite and say it’s enough with what the banks are doing … all of us will be in the streets to teach the banks a lesson.”
Call for high discipline
Addressing Gauteng ground forces at the Standard Bank Arena in Johannesburg early in November, Malema said there will be no room for mediocrity and dropping the ball by those campaigning for the red berets.
He charged that high discipline will have to define the EFF’s campaign including among branch leaders and party volunteers who will engage on the charm offensive for votes.
Top of things not to do, he said at the time, is to avoid those in love with alcohol from taking part in door-to-door campaigns.
“Do not campaign for the EFF under the influence of alcohol. Please stop drinking alcohol, please. We do not want drunkards in the EFF election campaign,” Malema said.
“Comrades, there are some drunkards that love the EFF, but you must know where to use them and that is not in the campaign. Do not allow them to canvass votes for us.