EFF gives companies an ultimatum
EFF's Julius Malema says black South Africans are fed up with the economy being driven by white foreigners.
JOHANNESBURG - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members and supporters say they are fully behind their leader Julius Malema, who says black South Africans are fed up with the economy being driven by white foreigners.
At least 50,000 red berets marched from the Johannesburg CBD to Sandton on Tuesday, demanding economic freedom.
The EFF says it believes more black people should own companies on the JSE and that transformation must be initiated from within the institution.
"I will never say South Africa belongs to us, but I know South Africa belongs to white people."
EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says government and big business must now open the conversation and take decisive decisions following the party's demands.
"That's a warning to the authorities, that's a sharpening on contradictions and the intensification of revolutionary consciousness in society."
Lists of the protester's demands have been handed over to management at the South African Reserve Bank, the Chamber of Mines and the JSE, with the EFF saying it's giving all these companies 30 days to respond to their demands.
One man says he's disappointed that after 21 years of democracy he still has to walk long distances for the rights he has fought for before.
"It's disappointing. When I thought we had achieved our freedom, both politically and economically, I noticed that that has not been achieved as yet."
WATCH: _Thousands of EFF supporters walked through the streets of Johannesburg in a march aimed at transformation in South Africa's financial sector. _
One of the demands in the memorandum submitted to the JSE on Tuesday, says all listed companies should give 51 percent of its ownership to its workers.
A white EFF supporter says he thinks workers deserve 100 percent.
"White people can feel as bad as they want, they can introspect as bad as they want, it's absolutely relevant that it needs to change."
- EFF Official Account (@EconFreedomZA) October 27, 2015
Demonstrators say they believe their 19 kilometre walk for economic emancipation was worth it.
The EFF says the fact that it mobilised 50,000 people for a single march should be a warning to government, and what it says is the white capitalist monopoly, that their days are numbered.
Young EFF members say their future is being directly affected by South Africa's slow pace of economic transformation.
The party's student leaders have also threatened to take more action if the issue of free education is not addressed in Parliament.
A student and EFF member says he's been dealt a double blow by what he says are economic injustices in South Africa.
The main financer of his university degree was killed in the 2012 Marikana massacre.
"These people were paying for me. One of those people passed away at Marikana. So, I've got that pain."
Now, he says he's struggling to pay his fees because of the funding shortfall at the National Students Financial Aid Scheme.
He, like many others at the march, is calling for immediate compensation of the families of those killed in Marikana.