LEPHALALE — On Thursday of the 16 March 2017 the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA) held a march calling for radical economic transformation. The march began near the Testing Centre in Lephalale town and according to the organisers 10 000 unemployed youth were expected.
The organiser of the march, Mashudu Ndou, said half of the expected number attended the march and what pleased him was the fact that companies honoured the invitation to receive their memorandum of demands.
The march was characterised by singing political struggle songs, while police kept the situation under control.
When the convener of the march Marcus Madube delivered their memorandum of demands he had among others these to convey:
• That all companies doing business in Lephalale should be committed to radical economic transformation as outlined by President Jacob Zuma in his SONA 2017;
• Release of land for development.
Companies must provide decent houses to employees while Lephalale Municipality should avail Joe Slovo Human Settlement;
• 60% localization of black suppliers that includes centralization of SMME Empowerment;
• Furthermore this pushes for non-local companies to enter into a joint venture with local companies;
• Job creation and skill audit at Exxaro, Matimba and Medupi Power Stations;
• 50% discount for scholar transport;
• Localization of Lephalale Development Forum;
• Learnerships and bursaries for locals and a commitment of R2 million per annum from each investor for the Mayoral Bursary;
• Free WI-FI at every School and TVET;
• Establishment of training centres in rural areas;
• Exxaro Mine Manager must start implementing radical economic transformation by employing locals, empowering black local SMMES or resign.
The burning issue surrounding recruitment was also addressed where PYA demanded that there be centralisation of recruitment by independent company that will be accountable to the Office of the Mayor and all investors.
They say the process of demobilization should cease to target locals, Gijima training centre should give preference to locals and blacklisting should immediately end.
Companies that had a representation were Lowveld Bus Services, Enel Green Power Solar Plant, Matimba, Medupi and Exxaro.
Lephalale Municipality Mayor was also a recipient of the memorandum.
PYA, working with Sub-Region and Youth structures gave companies until the 30 March 2017 to respond to their demands.