It was a pool of red berets in Soshanguve’s Giant stadium when the Economic Freedom Fighters’ supporters came in their numbers to the 2019 Manifesto launch.
The EFF Manifesto Launch themed “Our land and jobs now!” is primarily based on three sources being 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. It was also a collective experience the EFF gained through its participation in Parliament, Provincial Legislatures and Municipal Councils.
During the rally, EFF’s leader Commander in Chief (CIC) Julius Malema, spoke about challenges facing SA including the increase in unemployment especially in youth, “40% of south Africans are unemployed, the youth is even in a worse situation”, Mr Malema said.
He promised that the EFF will create millions of decent jobs between 2019 and 2024, through state-led industrialisation, industrial diversification including the protection of infant and existing industries.
Mr Malema stressed achieving the party’s goals through the transfer of ownership to black people through subsidies, an increase in tariffs and state-aided marketing.
With the theme clearly stating its focus on jobs and land, the EFF pledges to protect the right of street hawkers and informal traders to trade in a safe and clean environment in all cities without fear of the police. “This will prohibit the confiscation of street traders’ goods as a means of enforcing municipal by-laws,” he said.
Ever since its existence, the EFF has managed to pursue and lead the country into discussing the amendment of the Constitution to realise the expropriation of land without compensation for equal redistribution. “We cannot postpone the land question, we cannot postpone the jobs question. It must happen now. We don’t want to be told that we will get land in 2030,” the CIC said.
The EFF vowed to discontinue ownership of land by a few and ensure that all South African land is owned by all South African people through the principle of progressive state custodianship of land. CIC Julius Malema also highlighted that land will be available for residential, agriculture and industrial usage for free.
South Africa has recently implemented free education at institutions of higher learning for poor people. The EFF promises free and compulsory education to all citizens. It pledges to introduce free decolonised education for all, advancing topics pertaining to indigenous knowledge, sovereignty and economic freedom in the curricula.
“Our education will be free and compulsory, meaning that you will go to school by force until you get a post-matric qualification,” he stressed.
He further explained that the EFF government will make provision for early child development and train ECD teachers. “We are going to professionalise crèches. Children must go to crèche at 3 years.
“We don’t want children who cannot speak” said Malema. The EFF will also criminalise all parents who do not take their children to school, a promise they made in their 2014 Manifesto.
The EFF is known for its prioritisation of youth empowerment and development. It promises to pass a legislation that will ensure all government departments and all public institutions spend 50% of their procurement budget on youth-owned businesses.
The EFF also promised to ensure that all communities have a Youth Information and Advisory Centre which will inform, educate and guide young people on possible career paths and educational opportunities available in South Africa.
The EFF concludes on youth development that it will allocate R2 Billion to the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) with a minimum of 50% of that allocated to companies, programmes and projects controlled by women.