The Economic Freedom Fighters describes itself as a radical and militant economic emancipation movement that brings together revolutionary, fearless, radical, and militant activists, workers’ movements, nongovernmental organisations, community-based organisations and lobby groups under the umbrella of pursuing the struggle for economic emancipation.
The party was formed by tongue-lashing former ANC Youth League President, Julius Malema.
The EFF is a radical, leftist, anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist movement with an internationalist outlook anchored by popular grassroots formations and struggles.
At the core of the party’s policies has been the nationalisation of state resources to fight poverty.
“A supposition that the South African economy can be transformed to address the massive unemployment, poverty and inequality crisis without transfer of wealth from those who currently own it to the people as a whole is illusory,” reads the party’s policy document in part.
“The ownership of mineral wealth should be considered through various means, prime being the expropriation of the current minerals-production processes in South Africa, and the commencement of extraction, processing and trade on new land. The ownership of minerals beneath the soil could in effect entail the discontinuation of total private ownership of production means in the production of mineral wealth in South Africa.”
2014 election manifesto
The EFF launched their manifesto on 22 February 2014 in Tembisa, Gauteng. This is a summary of some of the main points of the document:
An EFF government will pass legislation to ensure that employment in the following sectors is permanent and protected by the Labour Relations Act (LRA) and Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) and increase of minimum wages in all sectors, which will take the following format:
a. Mineworkers: R12 500 per month.
b. Farm workers: R5000 per month.
c. Manufacturing workers: R6500.
d. Retail Workers (Cashiers and Retail Store Assistants): R5000.
e. Builders: R7000.
f. Petrol Attendants: R5000
g. Cleaners: R4500
h. Domestic Workers: R4500
i. Private Security Guards: R7500.
j. Full time Waiters and Waitresses: R4500
SUSTAINABLE ENERGY AND WATERThe EFF government will subsidise electricity for industrial and household usage to ensure electricity costs 50% less than the current costs by 2019.
EDUCATION AND TRAININGThe EFF government will introduce a scholarship which will take a minimum of 15 000 students (5000 of which will be medical practitioners) to the best universities across the world to attain skills, education and expertise in various fields.
HEALTHCAREThe EFF government will send a minimum of 5000 young South Africans per annum to train as doctors in the best universities across the world. The EFF government will ensure that hospital and healthcare institutions are run by medical practitioners with adequate administrative experience.
HOUSING AND SANITATIONThe EFF government will subsidise housing finance for middle-income earners, and pass laws which will lead to reduction of 20 to 30 years housing loans to a maximum of 10 years. The EFF will make it illegal for banks to repossess houses from people who have paid 50% of the bonds, and are unable to continue paying the bond due to socioeconomiccircumstances.
YOUTH DEVELOPMENTThe EFF government will pass legislations to ensure that all government departments and all public institutions employ a minimum of 40% of their workforce from people between the ages of 18 and 35.
QUALITY ROADS, TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTUREThe EFF government will expand the railways, buy new trains, and investigate affordable speed trains alongside areas such as Moloto Road between Tshwane and Nkangala region in Mpumalanga, between Soweto and Johannesburg, between Durban and Johannesburg to transport people and many goods that come from the harbour. The EFF Government will abolish eTolls and will physically remove them from South Africa’s roads.
SOCIAL GRANTSThe EFF government will increase social grants in the following manner:
a. Grant for older persons: Increase from R1300 to R2600 per month.
b. Disability grant: Increase from R1200 to R2400 per month.
c. War veterans grant: Increase from R1220 to R2440 per month.
d. Care dependency grant: Increase from to R1200 to R2400 per month.
e. Foster child grant: Increase from R800 to R1600 per month.
f. Child support grant: Increase from R300 to R600 per month.
RURAL DEVELOPMENT, LAND AND AGRARIAN REFORMThe EFF government’s ideological, political and programmatic approach to rural development is inspired by the notion that there should be “combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country”.
FIGHTING CORRUPTIONThe EFF government will establish State Administration Courts to promptly respond to incidents of corruption and maladministration with the aim of firing and blacklisting corrupt state employees and private companies, and recover money lost to corruption. The EFF Government will lead one of the most radical State and governance transformation programmes ever seen in the history of South Africa.
EFF party launch:
The party earned some credibility with the joining of former ANC lawyer, Dali Mpofu, who joined them after serving the ruling party for more than 30 years.
Julius Malema speaks on the the Sunset clause and its implications, his opposition to Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and Zwelinzima Vavi on Question Time.
– By Sipho Kekana