Today, the 7th of May 2014 marks exactly 365 days since 1, 169, 259 voters woke up in the morning of the elections day and went to cast their votes for the Economic Freedom Fighters. These Voters are the groundbreakers, the first generation of EFF Voters who said enough is enough with right-wing political parties that exist in the shadows of their former selves.
These voters are the real revolutionaries and Fighters for change who said to the EFF that despite the fact that you are a new political party, and relatively inexperienced with Parliamentary politics, we will still send you to Parliament to become the voice of the voiceless and advocates of progressive change and progress. These voters are the ones who agreed with the assertion that political power without economic power is meaningless.
As the first generation of Economic Freedom Fighters elected leadership and the first generation of the organisation’s Public Representatives, we take a pause on the 7th of May to salute our employers, the voters who said we should go South Africa’s Parliament and Legislatures and become their voice. We wish to recommit again that since our deployment to Parliaments and Legislatures, we have never sold out the struggle for economic freedom. Everything we said we will do when we got to Parliament, we have done and will continue to do.
Since the election of the EFF in May 2014, we have achieved the following:
1) Made Parliament to be a vibrant and dynamic space, drawing attention of millions of South Africans into Parliamentary activities, which were largely ignored since 1994.
2) Held the Executive and President Zuma accountable and demanding that he should pay back the money as directed by the Public Protector.
3) Were the first political formation to call for the removal of colonial and apartheid statues through the maiden speech of the Commander in Chief Julius Malema.
4) Highlighted the reality of base erosion, profit shifting and transfer pricing in a manner never done before. Made substantial submissions to the relevant committees and still fighting that concrete action be taken against those who commit these kinds of corporate crimes.
5) Have called for the commission of inquiry on the conditions and remuneration of mineworkers, which the ANC rejected.
6) Have offered the ruling party our 6,35% component in the National Assembly to amend section 25 of the Constitution in order to empower the State to expropriate land without compensation, which they rejected.
7) Have called for massive protection of local industries in areas where there are currently no tariffs and duties.
8) Have called for legislation and tabled detailed proposals on localisation, which was going to result in massive local production of goods and services.
9) Have called for the transformation of the criminal justice system,
10) Have called for the creation of viable and capable Universities and post-secondary institutions which should accommodate all secondary school leavers.
11) Have called for tabled proposals on the protection and promotion of the arts, culture and heritage institutions.
12) Have called for and table proposals on a comprehensive and activist foreign policy position particularly in the Middle East.
13) Have called for and proposed an industrial policy on the communications sector, particularly demanding that all the set top boxes for digital migration should be manufactured in South Africa.
14) Have called for and proposed that free quality education should be ushered in alongside expansion of the post-secondary training and education space.
15) Have called for an adequate minimum wage across all spheres of employment in the manner contained for in the EFF elections manifesto.
16) Have called for and tabled proposals on the provision of free sanitary towels for all girls from poor backgrounds.
17) In provinces, we continue to speak on behalf of the most vulnerable groups and communities.
Throughout the 365 days, we were faced with massive hostility from the ruling party and their partisan presiding officers who always tried to evict us from parliament and even called police to physically remove democratically elected members of parliament.
The attempts of the ruling party to intimidate us and use physical violence against us never stopped us from speaking for the poor and the downtrodden. As a result, the EFF is growing by leaps and bounds. Every corner of South Africa has active members and followers of the EFF whose political consciousness was raised and ignited by the militant and radical politics of the Economic Freedom Fighters.
To the people of South Africa who are eligible to vote in the upcoming elections, we stand tall to report that we are the only organisation that stays true to its principles, commitments and values. Our election to Parliament never meant that we should leave the ground, it instead reconnected us with the masses of our people. This explains the fact that since May 7th 2014, the EFF has had more political rallies and community meetings than all other political parties combined. The other political parties only go to the ground for elections.
The EFF remains the only beacon of hope and a great inspiration to the people of South Africa. On this day, the 7th of May 2014, we salute South African Voters for giving us a mandate and we vow never to betray the ordinary masses of our people.
ISSUED BY THE ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS