The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is about to enter their second round of the national elections since their establishment in 2013.
The party is led by former African National Congress (ANC) youth leader, Julius Malema, and they have been very successful since their debut. In the 2014 elections they gained 1,169,259 million votes, which amounted to be about 6.355% of the national votes.
The success may be linked to the very experienced leaders in the party who not only have a ton of political knowledge, but are also very educated individuals with many having obtained their undergraduates, honours, masters and PhD’s in the past five years.
The party’s mandate for 2019 is clear: “Our land and jobs now!” As a far left political party they aim to produce results at all costs. Additionally, this stems from the fact that there is a lack of land distribution even after 25 years of political freedom in South Africa which has led to what they call “economic emancipation.” 80% of the South African population is said to occupy less than 10% of the land.
Their detailed manifesto expresses seven clear pillars that the party will operate according to:
Expropriation of South Africa’s land without compensation: This is a way to gain economic redress in South Africa.
Nationalization of mines: Consists of the state having control of the running of the mines. This has been their agenda since their establishment back in 2013.
Building state and government capacity: Which will see the abolishment of tenders. Furthermore fighting crime and inequality in South Africa.
Free quality education, health care, houses and sanitation: The most stand-out approach to achieving this is the abolishment of 30% pass mark and the Independent Examinations Board. This is apart from their goal to achieve free education.
Protection of industrial development: Through the creation of sustainable jobs and the protection of South African entities.
Massive development of the African Economy: Through amending minimum wage.
Open, corrupt-free government.
The party has been said to produce results where it matters, their progress since the 2014 elections stands testimony to that. They have managed to in-source 1,600 security guards in the City of Johannesburg, which has also lead to wage increases for these blue collar workers.
They have also managed to bring forth a number of social-economic issues in parliament that were not previously addressed pertaining to banks through the need to amend the Bank Act, land and even questioning leadership structures in government.
Their very vocal stance to the injustice of the poor and working class has earned them great support in many black homes and youth in universities all over South Africa. They have been also been criticized for being very vocal about their relationship with the ANC, which has not been a positive one since the last elections. However, they believe they speak for the people and they are the people.
The question now is how will they do in the 2019 elections as they are not only fighting for a seat, but for a voice? Especially considering the fact that there is a great number of far left political parties that are contending this time around.