EFF: No more tenders in government
The newly formed Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said on Wednesday the outsourcing of service provision by the state, in the form of the tendering system, should be stopped.
In a radio interview with Power FM talk show host Eusebius McKaizer on Wednesday, EFF national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi also revealed the EFF has yet to register with the Independent Electoral Commission and has not yet decided whether or not it will participate in the 2014 national elections.
Ndlozi said the "neoliberal policy practices" of the South African government failed to solve the country's myriad problems and said the time had come for radical nationalisation of land, mines and banks.
Meanwhile, the EFF's commander-in-chief Julius Malema appeared in the Polokwane Magistrate's Court in June where he is accused of taking R4-million from allegedly corrupt tendering schemes. He is out on R10 000 bail and has constantly insisted the charges against him were brought about by President Jacob Zuma, who is also his political nemesis.
The Mail & Guardian reported in 2011 how Julius Malema's Ratanang Family Trust holds shares in On-Point Engineering, a company which administered the construction of roads in Limpopo on behalf of the provincial government.
The public protector investigated the awarding of that contract and found that Malema "benefited improperly" from the tender.
Ndlozi told McKaizer on Wednesay that the EFF was presently engaging with communities as it begins putting its policy ideas on paper.
While the details are being ironed out, the EFF has tenuously agreed on some "non-negotiable pillars" that will form that basis of its policy framework.
These pillars include the expropriation of land without compensation, the nationalisation of mines, free education and health care, and the creation of jobs through building state capacity.
Ndlozi said that, at presfent, the model of government is something I call neoliberal rationality; that government must stay out of business and that it must not get involved in the delivery of services, "so we constantly outsource and tender".
The EFF believes this must be done away with, and that a capable state must not outsource its duties. This mirrors the Young Communist's League campaign to ban tenders, which it presented at the ANC policy conference in June last year.
Ndlozi said the practice of tendering helped to build a "parasitic state" and said that an "illusion" existed that the state did not have the skills in its ranks to build roads, schools and the like, without the private sector's involvement.
Instead, he said many people didn't want to get involved in the public sector because of the "dishonesty; the maneuvering that is going on".
He said the EFF was under a lot of pressure to register to participate in next year's elections. But some among its ranks felt it would be wiser to wait, test the party's strength in a local government election instead, and use the interim period to test its grassroots support base.
"But there is huge impatience. And elections open up conversation … much more agitation is possible during an election period," Ndlozi explained.