The year 2019 marks exactly 25 years since the attainment of political freedom in South Africa. As observed in the Founding Manifesto of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), political freedom in South Africa has hardly translated into observable economic emancipation. Black people remain landless, they remain on the margins of economic production and outside of life-enhancing economic participation. The majority of those that participate in the economy do so as suppliers of cheap and easily disposable labour. Landlessness and joblessness among black South Africans are at crisis levels, posing the biggest challenges that confront South African society today.
While focusing on clear, implementable and decisive programmes for all spheres of governance, the EFF’s emphasis for the 2019 general elections will be on LAND and JOBS. Consequently, the EFF’s theme for the 2019 elections is: OUR LAND AND JOBS NOW.
The emphasis on LAND derives from the fact that 25 years since the attainment political freedom, 80% of the population continues to occupy less than 10% of South Africa’s land.
The emphasis on JOBS is motivated by the sad reality that after 25 years of attempts at addressing the matter, more than seven million capable South Africans who need jobs are unemployed, with no hope that anything will change unless the current government is changed.
The emphasis on NOW is informed by the fact that 25 years is a rather long time for any political party to keep making empty promises. The emphasis on NOW is also because our people live in absolute poverty. Similarly, the emphasis on NOW is because our people are landless. The emphasis on NOW is because our people are jobless. Yet again the emphasis on NOW is because the crises of racialised poverty, inequality, underdevelopment, landlessness and joblessness are being experienced NOW, and must be resolved NOW!
More fundamentally, the emphasis on NOW is because we cannot postpone the true liberation of our people from economic apartheid. We are not part of the 1994 elite pact. We are a completely new generation, with new demands. And our demands, unlike those of the 1994 generation, will not be postponed. We refuse to be silenced with so-called reconciliation. We want justice now. We want our land now. We want jobs now. We demand the economy NOW!
It is our considered view that the political change-over in 1994, did not bring true liberation. It was a bluff which continues to subject black people to economic and social apartheid. This economic apartheid must end now. The demand for land and jobs now is the demand to end apartheid because it is now evident that apartheid did not end in 1994. We are not part of the CODESA compromises, which only focused on taking over political power without the control of the economy. We are ageneration that is fighting for true economic emancipation NOW!
The economy in South Africa continues today to be under the ownership and control of white minority settlers, whose ownership and control of land in particular, were gained through settler colonialism and its corollary – the dispossession of the black colonised. Other sectors of the economy, such as the retail chains, industry and the financial sector, are also owned and controlled by the white minority in South Africa. All the means of economic survival and existence continue to be controlled by the white minority. All of this continues to be the case two decades after the country attained political freedom.
The black majority, and Africans in particular, are the numerical majority, yet they continue to be the economic minority, living under difficult conditions and perennially begging for participation in and benefit from what is a white-owned economy linked to the global capitalist system. The few black people who participate in the economy, do so, subject to white approval through a black economic empowerment model that is ostensibly designed to benefit a small number of individuals without ever changing the structural exclusion of the majority.
The post-1994 governments have dismally failed to transfer economic power to the black majority and, even worse, to optimally use government ownership and control of certain state assets for the benefit of all South Africans. Instead, they have reproduced and worsened apartheid economic inequalities, such that a prominent defining characteristic of all post-1994 governments is their perpetuation of economic apartheid defined along racial lines. Whilst political apartheid has been abolished, economic and social apartheid remain a stark reality, evidenced by the fact that poverty is associated with blackness and wealth with whiteness.
The Economic Freedom Fighters has demonstrated in its five years of existence, through various interventions and political leadership in different spheres of influence, that it is the only political movement that will bring about real economic change in South Africa. As a movement, we carry collective and individual capacity that will fundamentally change South Africa’s economy in a manner that will allow us to reclaim economic ownership, expand the productive economy, give black people real ownership, create jobs and drive inclusive development.
The EFF’s political programme is the only programme that is embedded in the interests of all South Africans, having been organically developed to meet people’s demands. The manifesto we present hereafter for the 2019 general elections is therefore not a wish list of unattainable goals, but a clear programme of action of what we will do when elected as government of South Africa.
The EFF Manifesto 2019 is based on primarily three sources:
a) The numerous submissions the EFF received from different sectors through public consultations, which included public meetings, letters to different organisations, social media inputs and oral submissions;
b) The Founding Manifesto of the EFF; and
c) The collective experience the EFF gained through its participation in Parliament, Provincial Legislatures and Municipal Councils.
It is important to highlight that the EFF’s political programme is underpinned by the desire for ECONOMIC FREEDOM IN OUR LIFETIME. This is a generational clarion call that we will never deviate from. The EFF’s manifesto commitments for the 2019 general elections are inspired by as well as based on our movement’s seven cardinal pillars, which constitute the core of our approach to genuine revolutionary transformation of society for the better.
The seven pillars are:
a. Expropriation of South Africa’s land without compensation, for equal redistribution in use
b. Nationalisation of mines, banks and other strategic sectors of the economy, without compensation
c. Building state and government capacity, which will lead to the abolishment of tenders
d. Free quality education, health care, houses and sanitation
e. Massive protected industrial development to create millions of sustainable jobs, including the introduction of minimum wage(s) in order to close the wage gap between the rich and the poor, close the apartheid wage gap and promote rapid career paths for Africans in the workplace
f. Massive development of the African economy and advocating for a move from reconciliation to justice on the entire continent
g. Open, accountable, corrupt-free government and society without fear of victimisation by state agencies.
The seven cardinal pillars and all the areas which the manifesto covers are of crucial importance to us in their totality, while specific emphasis is being placed on LAND and JOBS. It is our firm belief that the crisis levels of poverty, inequality and underdevelopment being experienced in the country can be ended by the reclamation and equitable redistribution of the land and the creation of millions of jobs. The current government has spectacularly demonstrated that it is incapable both now and in the foreseeable future to economically empower all South Africans.
The EFF does not promote job creation at any cost. The quality of jobs and the quality of life in the workplace are also of utmost importance. The role of trade unions therefore needs to be specifically guaranteed and protected. The wage gap is also one of the biggest contributors to inequality. Statistics show that in South Africa, the wealthiest three billionaires own more wealth than the poorest 26 million citizens. Globally, it will take four days for the CEOs of the world’s largest fashion companies to earn what a clothing worker in those companies earns in a lifetime. Economic wealth therefore must be transferred from the hands of the few to the hands of the many.
The EFF’s manifesto takes into consideration various domestic, regional, global, geo-political, economic and industrial developments. We particularly take into consideration that we have the obligation to present a credible JOBS strategy in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which could reduce the number of people employed to produce goods and services for a wage. The Manifesto will address these developments in a manner that appreciates reality and yet achieves maximum benefits.
What distinguishes the EFF’s 2019, election manifesto from all other election manifestos is that it makes specific commitments with timelines and clearly specifies areas that will receive the deliverables, illustrating the movement’s readiness and preparedness to govern on behalf of the people.
The era of meaningless and broad promises is over. The EFF’s quantitative and qualitative growth has taught us that we should always stay in contact with the people and understand their demands and aspirations.
Some of the policy innovations contained in this manifesto include:
a) Land redistribution policies which will guarantee land access by all landless people for residential, industrial, cultural, religious and recreational purposes;
b) Multiple special economic zones to promote inward industrialisation and manufacturing investments with export capacity in order to make the ownership and control of the economy demographically representative, expand its productive capacity and create millions of jobs;
c) Doubling of social grants in order to reduce the crisis levels of poverty and boost domestic economic demands and expansion;
d) Usage of legislated state procurement as a boost for localisation and creation of sustainable quality jobs, prioritising women and the youth;
e) Reconfiguration of the spheres of government into national and local spheres and eliminating the provincial sphere in order to redirect resources to impactful service delivery and investments; and
f) Amending the constitution to make the National Prosecutions Authority (NPA) a Chapter 9, institution accountable to Parliament in order to stop selective prosecutions and fight corruption.
Fellow South Africans, Commissars, Fighters, and all Ground Forces, the EFF hereby presents our commitments, a programme of action and a clearly articulated plan on what we will do when elected to govern on behalf of the people. These are not empty promises.
They are clear commitments that will be realised under the decisive and capable leadership of the Economic Freedom Fighters.
The clarion call is clear:
OUR LAND AND JOBS NOW! VICTORY IS CERTAIN!
Julius Sello Malema
The EFF’s election manifesto will focus on the key areas set out below. It should be highlighted that each focus area will have a localised expression and jobs dividend.
A. WHERE DOES THE ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS MOVEMENT COME FROM AND WHAT HAVE WE ACHIEVED?
B. DIAGNOSIS: WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA TODAY?
C. THE EFF’S COMMITMENTS AND PLAN OF ACTION ON:
4) GENDER, WOMEN AND LGBTQI
5) YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
9) HUMAN SETTLEMENTS, WATER AND
10) PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
11) TRADITIONAL LEADERS
14) FINANCIAL SECTOR
15) SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
16) STATE CAPACITY
17) AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FORESTRY
19) JUSTICE SYSTEM AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES
20) CONSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE AND DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION
21) ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE
22) FISCAL FRAMEWORK
23) SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
24) SPORTS, ARTS, CULTURE AND RECREATION
25) INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY
27) ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE
28) INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
A. WHERE DOES THE ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS MOVEMENT COME FROM AND WHAT HAVE WE ACHIEVED?
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is a revolutionary socialist economic emancipation movement founded in 2013, in South Africa to fight for economic freedom in our lifetime.
The EFF is a registered political party with 890 public representatives in the National Assembly, the National Council of Provinces, Provincial Legislatures and Municipal Councils. Since its formation, the EFF has, among many others, registered the following victories:
1) Through various efforts the EFF led the country into discussing the amendment of the constitution to realise the expropriation of land without compensation for equal redistribution.
2) The EFF got former President Mr Jacob Zuma to pay back money spent on non-security-related upgrades at his homestead in Nkandla.
3) The EFF effectively led a political process that stopped the Gupta criminal syndicate from running the country’s government and key state-owned companies.
4) The EFF used its Parliamentary participation to table the following laws, which will fundamentally change the economic architecture of South Africa to benefit ordinary South Africans:
i. The National Health Amendment Bill, which will ensure that all clinics in South Africa are open 24 hours a day;
ii. The Insourcing of all Government and State Entities Bill, which will result in the insourcing of all workers who provide constant services to government and state companies;
iii. The Illegalisation of Alcohol Advertisement Bill, which will end the celebration and promotion of alcohol consumption in South Africa;
iv. The Banks Amendment Bill, which will lead to the creation of a state-owned bank; and
v. The Nationalisation of the South African Reserve Bank Bill, which will discontinue private ownership of the central bank.
5) The EFF used its Parliamentary participation to table motions which sought to achieve the following:
i. Provision of free-fee education for the poor at higher education level, which was rejected by the ruling party;
ii. Increase in mineworkers’ salaries and improvement of their working conditions;
iii. Repeal of all apartheid legislation and laws that continue to govern South African society;
iv. Nationalisation of banks and changing how state-owned companies are managed; and
v. Submission on illicit financial flows, tax avoidance and base erosion in Parliament as well as to SARS and the Davis Tax Committee.
6) The EFF led and supported land occupation programmes which resulted in residential land being given to many landless people in all the provinces.
7) The EFF led a decisive political programme that resulted in the admission of more than 100 000 students to institutions of higher learning without their having to pay any fees.
8) The EFF’s public representatives and leadership have individually and collectively assisted many communities with:
i. Implements for agricultural productivity, including tractors;
ii. School assistance programmes and bursaries that help hundreds of schoolchildren;
iii. School uniforms and vital learning and teaching support materials;
iv. Many labour disputes that prevented racism, dismissals and retrenchments; and
v. Legal representation that prevents evictions.
9) The EFF caucuses at provincial and local levels tabled insourcing bills and motions for government to disallow anyone to work for government through a third party to provide common services such as cleaning, gardening, security guards etc.
10) The EFF caucuses in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay tabled successful motions on the insourcing of municipality workers, as a result of which thousands of security guards are now full-time employees with proper salaries at the municipalities.
11) The EFF caucuses in Johannesburg and Tshwane tabled successful motions to have clinics remain open 24 hours a day. As a result, clinics in cities are now open 24 hours, seven days a week.
12) The EFF had Parliament debate the plight of ‘Fees Must Fall’ activists in support of all activists who were arrested and remained behind bars or who were involved in court cases or awaiting trial in prison.
13) The EFF in KwaZulu-Natal tabled a motion for the discontinuation of all contracts with KPMG by provincial government. The motion was adopted by the provincial legislature.
14) The EFF in Rustenburg tabled a motion to reinstate 100 workers whose employment with the Council had been wrongfully terminated. The motion was adopted by the Council.
15) The EFF in Bela-Bela tabled a motion for a land expropriation programme. As a result, the Council allocated 700 fully serviced stands to deserving recipients.
16) The EFF in Modimolle tabled a motion for the Municipal Council to scrap all debt that indigent people owed. The motion was adopted by the Council.
17) The EFF in Nelson Mandela Bay tabled a motion for the insourcing of security guards, with a salary increase from R4 000 to R11 000. The motion was adopted by the Council.
18) The EFF secured transport for learners who previously had to walk long distances to school in Buffalo City.
19) The EFF in Matjhabeng in Free State helped 95 workers who had been employed on contract for more than ten years to secure full-time positions.
20) The EFF protected the independence of the office of the Public Protector.
21) The EFF has made politics fashionable and worthy.
22) The EFF has made Parliament vibrant.
23) The EFF has helped many people with legal representation, including artists.
24) The EFF fought for the insourcing of workers at institutions of higher learning such as Wits University, University of South Africa (UNISA), University of Kwa Zulu/Natal (UKZN) and University of Pretoria (UP).
25) The EFF pushed President Zuma out of office through a motion of no confidence.
26) The EFF introduced secret voting in Parliament.
27) The EFF has gained credibility at institutions of higher learning by constantly winning SRC elections.
28) Wherever the EFF led the SRC, poor students were provided with free sanitary towels and one meal a day.
29) The EFF effectively gave land to 50 000 people who were landless.
30) The EFF helped to remove corrupt government officials at Nelson Mandela, Tshwane, Johannesburg, Thabazimbi, Modimolle, Mogale City and Jozini municipal councils.
31) The EFF has built the confidence of black people and confronted racism everywhere where it encounters it.
32) The EFF is the only party that has a higher gender balance in Parliament, provincial legislature and municipal councils.
The EFF has had many collective and individual victories in all the provinces and numerous municipalities, some which cannot for reasons of space be included here. In sum it has brought hope to ordinary South Africans and revived their confidence in politics.