The Mary Fitzgerald Square was alive with chants and dance as marchers prepared to shut down the streets of Johannesburg in their protest for economic transformation. More than 50 000 EFF members peacefully marched to the Reserve Bank of South Africa, the Chamber of Mines and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton on the 27 October 2015. Mr Motlhabane received the Memorandum on behalf of the Chamber of Mines.
When the EFF marchers arrived in Sandton that afternoon, there were a fence erected 100 metres away from the JSE buildings. The Presisent of the EFF, Julius Malema had a harsh words for the JSE Management; “You are so racist, you do not even belong to South Africa,” he said. “You lock us out when we have permission to come here. You treat us like criminals because we are black. Police why do you allow these whites to treat you like that when the EFF had permission to be here?’ he asked the police outside JSE. “This is a legal march,” he added.
Malema further said that black people at the South African Reserve Bank, and Chambers of Mines where the EFF marched to earlier, had received them well. “We come to white people here and we are treated like visitors in our own country,” he said. “We may look ugly to you, we may look poor to you, but we want to be treated with respect,” Malema warned the JSE management. “We are here because of the pain of poverty.”
JSE CEO Nicky Newton-King received a memorandum from the EFF on the back of a truck from where Malema and other EFF leaders were addressing the crowd. She thanked the crowd for taking the effort to come to Sandton. It is “a magnificent effort,” she said. “We will look into issues raised in the memorandum.” She also said the JSE looked forward to discussing them with the EFF leadership in few weeks to come.
EFF MP Floyd Shivambu then read the memorandum out to the crowd. Some of the demands included that all JSE-listed companies give 51% ownership to their workers, that JSE-listed companies each adopt at least 100 students and pay for their tertiary education, and that labour brokers be banned. The EFF demanded that the minimum wage for domestic workers be R4 500 per month, R12 500 for miners and R6 500 for manufacturing workers. Malema said, “We wanted an end to companies shifting their profits overseas.We want all companies to give us a response within 30 days, otherwise we are going to shut down these companies, the JSE itself.”