EFF lays out strategies for growth
The EFF discussed some policies and strategies, including land invasion, to ensure the party gets more votes in the next local and national elections.
Resolutions taken by Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) commissions during the party’s first national assembly in Mangaung focused on social transformation, media, land, local government, health and education, international relations, justice and correctional services and economic transformation.
While the commissions were closed to media, detailed report backs on the commissions and discussions around the decisions made at the commission were open.
The EFF discussed its policy and some of the strategies it intends to use to garner more votes in the 2016 local elections and the 2019 national elections.
Below are some recommendations to the Central Committee Team (CCT) by EFF members.
EFF member Betty Diale told delegates that the commission had decided that, “child grants brought more problems than solutions”.
Diale said child support grants should be converted to vouchers for food and clothes and that this would be less prone to abuse. The commission also raised concern that women and South Africa’s youth were those most affected by unemployment.
Diale said this was because of “gender issues” and that certain industries such as mining were not protected to ensure beneficiation, which would lead to employment.
The commissions also noted there was a rapid increase of drug use by young people and recommended that rehab centres be established. Learners who tested positive for drugs would be sent for rehabilitation.
The EFF also called for the diversification of media ownership. George Nyakama presented the commission’s report and said the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) should be elevated to a Chapter Nine institution. He said there Parliament should establish an independent commission of inquiry into the manipulation of the SABC news content.
He said the EFF should use social media aggressively to increase its relevance and influence the social discourse.
He said media diversification through the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) should be advanced to undermine the oligarchy within the print media industry.
Nyakama said initiatives to establish EFF radio and television stations should be pursued online with people accessing it via mobile technology.
He said the EFF should launch a weekly publication and an online quarterly journal. Nyakama said the party should generate news feeds to give voice to struggles on the ground – not just in written form – but that people on the ground should be able to find a platform to tell their stories and struggles.
The commission also recommended that a printing press that belonged to the EFF should be established.
Shelly Mokhothu told delegates that “the law that says you do not own the mineral beneath the soil of your land must be scrapped”. She said the commission had decided that EFF members should invade unoccupied land.
She said EFF MPs must table a motion for the property clause in the Constitution to be scrapped and that the party should engage the Legal Resources Centre to assist people occupying land.
Tseko Mafanya reported on local government, saying the commission recommended that the party push for the abolishment of provincial governments and the strengthening of local government.
He said no municipality should use labour brokers and that municipalities should expropriate land within their boundaries and redistribute it. He said the EFF should abolish tenders in local government and that the building of houses should not be outsourced to the private sector.
The commission made the decision that all wards in 2016 be contested by the EFF and that provincial command teams should be politically educated before the end of 2015.
He said the Central Command Team (CCT) must devise a mobilisation strategy to “capture” the youth who did not vote in 2014 and added that nomination of EFF candidates would be in consultation with communities.
He said the CCT should develop EFF counsellors and that a draft municipal local government elections strategy must be ready before March 2015
Health and education
Barnard Joseph reported on the health and education resolutions. He said the commission recommended that history be a compulsory subject in school.
The commission looked at the state of hospitals, teenage pregnancies and traditional versus medical circumcision, among other issues.
The commission noted the education system was still divided along racial lines and that rural and black government schools still had poor infrastructure.
Joseph said the 30% pass mark had compromised the quality of education. The commission found that some public schools in rural areas were not easily accessible and that school sports and arts and culture programmes have collapsed. He said the commission noted the shortage of teachers in schools and that many universities did not recognise qualifications from some colleges.
The commission found that there was a strong need for political office bearers to continue to increase their knowledge and a need for provincial tertiary hospitals.
Joseph said the commission had decided that the pass mark should be at least 50% and that the government should build schools where people live and get rid of the student transport system that promoted corruption.
The EFF would demand that government provide free sanitary towels to schoolgirls. The commission concluded that government should scrap the National Student Financial Aid Scheme and introduce free, quality education until after the first tertiary degree.
The commission recommended that the party establish a bursary fund to assist fighters to further studies.
On health, Joseph said it must be free and accessible and that the healthcare system must be nationalised. He said the government should open nursing colleges and abolish private nursing colleges but should rather employ home-based careers on a full time basis and establish a state-owned pharmaceutical company.
The commission also recommended that mobile clinics be established. The commission asked that the CCT explore the possibility of legalising dagga and other herbs for medical reasons as well as engaging with traditional leaders to explore better mechanism around traditional circumcision.
Vuyisile Schoemna delivered the report of the international relations commission, which stated that anyone who was against the party’s “seven cardinal pillars” was an enemy of the EFF.
Schoemna said a programme of action on international relations should be developed and that the EFF should strengthen relations with other progressive international parties. Schoeman said the EFF should advocate for radical transformation of the United Nations and that the party should call for the dismantling of international organs such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
The commission asked that all political prisoners in Swaziland be released and that the kingdom should be isolated.
Justice and Correctional Services
Commissar Kgotso Morapela reported on the justice and correctional services commission and said the party was preparing to win the national election in 2019. Morapela said the commission recommended that EFF needed to attract lawyers who would be able to provide services to the poor.
Morapela said the EFF should hold mini-clinics on law to educate rural communities about the justice system. The commission also recommended school curriculum include basic law subjects. He added that the bail system be reviewed.
The commission said the EFF should launch an anti-rape campaign and that the definition of rape should be amended to include sexual harassment of men.
Morapela said that the mindset of police officers needed to change so that they could see their service as a calling and not merely a job. The commission said strikes at the South African National Defence Force must be discouraged and that people should be encouraged to get at least one year military training after matriculating.
The commission recommended that the salaries of the security cluster be reviewed and standardised. Morapela said multinational security corporations should be exposed so that South Africans could see how they have taken over the ruling party.
Collen Sedibe reported on the behalf of the commission on economic transformation and said the party should mobilise society around the programme of economic freedom. He said the commission found that education should be biased towards the industrialisation of the economy and that 40% should be theoretical and 60% practical.
He said EFF branches should be at the forefront of building consciousness of society around economic freedom.
The economic transformation commission said that Section 25 of the Constitution should be amended to ensure expropriation and that the state must have ownership of strategic sectors, including Sasol, AcellorMittal, PPC and other cement companies.
The commission recommended that the state bank be established. Sedibe said no less than 60% of minerals should be beneficiated in South Africa and that trade policies should be reviewed for industrialisation.
He said the Competition Commission should review penalties on collusion and criminalise transfer pricing and profit shifting. Sedibe said EFF branches around mines have programmes to demand action from the mines and that the EFF must engage government to protect local industries in order to save jobs.
The commission recommended that the state procure all its food from local farmers and must intervene in the agro-processing sector. Sedibe said the state must take control of resources and the redistribution of land.
First Published by: www.mg.co.za