The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) will want to increase their ambitions by winning over administrative control of key battleground municipalities at the upcoming 2021 local government elections.
EFF performance record in municipal elections
The opposition party, led by Julius Malema, is, in many ways, an offspring of the African National Congress (ANC). Disowned and left in the lurch without a political home, Malema and his disciples founded the EFF in 2013.
Since then, the firebrand opposition party has been a thorn on the side of the ANC and South Africa’s second-largest organisation, the Democratic Alliance (DA).
Fuelled by Marxist-Leninism, the pan-African political party has grown extremely popular in the eight years of its existence. The Red Berets now hold a greater deal of influence than longstanding political movements like the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the United Democratic Movement (UDM).
The 2021 municipal elections will be the second time the Red Berets contest for administrative control of metros. In their first-ever showing, Malema’s party garnered the fifth-most support with a whopping 8.19% of total votes and 761 seats at local councils around South Africa.
2021 Elections: Key metros for the EFF
This time around, the EFF will be aiming higher in their ambition to oust the DA as South Africa’s official opposition party.
Malema’s organisation has long abandoned its coalition strategy as the sole method to establishing control. The new approach is clear. The EFF is prepared to fight tooth and nail to introduce socialism as a form of governance, with or without the assistance of rival parties.
“We, the social economic movement, can assure you that we have picked up the spear and continue the war for economic freedom… We will do so with single-minded determination to ensure total victory for a socialist alternative that has long committed itself to the task of uplifting the lives of ordinary Africans,” Malema said at the party’s manifesto launch in September.
For the first time ever, the EFF will contest in all 257 municipalities at the 2021 elections. While the party has never won over administrative control of a municipality, these battleground cities will be primary targets:
- City of Tshwane
- City of Johannesburg
2021 Elections: Here’s the party’s manifesto
At its manifesto launch, the EFF laid out the ground works for its plan to deliver South Africa out of poverty. The key messaging of the party’s campaign has been centred around the flaws of the ANC.
Rooting out corruption, redistributing land and taxing the wealthy were just some of the promises made by Malema.
“All EFF members and members of the community have played a central role in guiding the manifesto. This is an organic manifesto: not a book of promises, but a contract of commitment to the people of South Africa,” Malema explained.
This is the EFF’s seven cardinal pillars of the 2021 municipal elections:
- Expropriation of South Africa’s land without compensation for equal redistribution;
- Nationalisation of mines, banks, and other strategic sectors of the economy, without compensation;
- Building state and government capacity, which will lead to abolishment of tenders;
- Free quality education, healthcare, houses and sanitation;
- Massive protected industrial development to create millions of sustainable jobs, including introduction of minimum wages to close the wage gap between the rich and the poor;
- Massive development of the African economy and advocating for a move from reconciliation to justice in the entire continent; and
- Open, accountable, corrupt-free government and society without fear of victimisation by state agencies.
“Every EFF municipality will buy tractors and make them available for indigent households who want to farm, and will supply them with seeds and implements. Every EFF municipality will repossess all municipal stolen land,” Malema promised
You can read the party’s full elections manifesto here.