The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has slammed parliament and the Democratic Alliance-led Tshwane municipality for choosing “white” venues to hold public consultations on the land issue, after the venue was suddenly changed to a “Voortrekker” area.
At the monthly Tshwane council sitting on Thursday, the EFF proposed changing the initial venue, Lukas Van Den Berg Sports Stadium in Pretoria West, as it could only accommodate 200 people.
The party also said the venue was in an area dominated by whites and was more easily accessible to affiliates of Afrikaner interest group, AfriForum than blacks in townships.
But after Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga told the council he would write to parliament about the matter, parliament announced a sudden venue change yesterday.
The new venue is Heartfelt Arena in Thaba Tshwane.
But this venue is near the Voortrekker Monument, still in a “white area” and further from black residents who wanted to participate, Tshwane EFF leader Moafrika Mabogwana said yesterday.
“We don’t think that venue is suitable either. The problem is that it is in a Voortrekker area and a white-dominated industrial area,” Mabogwana said.
“We are shocked that the venues identified happen to be only in white-dominated areas while there are much bigger venues in townships that can be utilised.
“This, in our view, seems like an attempt to give AfriForum and its members an opportunity to easily access the venue so they can fill it up, while people from the townships will have to travel long distances.”
Parliament said the reason for yesterday’s change of venue was to accommodate as many people as possible in one place.
The EFF added that this last-minute change would be problematic as it had not been widely publicised.
“It’s bound to create confusion as there was not sufficient time to make the public aware of it. What is going to happen to people who are not aware of the change and go to the venue in Pretoria West?” Mabogwana asked.
Those who go to Lukas Van Den Berg Stadium would be shuttled to Heartfelt Arena, parliament said in a statement.
The public hearings are expected to start at 11am and continue until 4pm.