EFF lays out strategies for growth
Resolutions taken by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) commissions set up 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.
The commissions were closed to the media, but detailed report-backs on the commissions and discussions around the decisions made at the conference 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 command team by the representatives of the respective EFF commissions.
EFF member Betty Diale told delegates that:
- The child support grants should be converted to vouchers for food and clothes; and
- Rehabilitation centres should be established and those who tested positive for drugs be sent there.
The EFF called for the diversification of media ownership. George Nyakama presented the commission’s report and made the following points:
- The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa should be elevated to a chapter nine institution;
- Parliament should establish an independent commission of inquiry into the manipulation of SABC news content;
- The EFF should use social media aggressively to increase its relevance and influence the social discourse; ?
- The Media Development and Diversity Agency should be used to advance diversity print media;
- Initiatives to establish EFF radio and television stations should be pursued, with people accessing it via mobile technology;
- The EFF should launch a weekly publication and an online quarterly journal;
- The party should generate news feeds so that people could find a platform to tell their stories; and
- The EFF should have a printing press.
Shelly Mokhothu told delegates that:
- “The law that says you do not own the mineral beneath the soil of your land” should be scrapped;
- EFF members should invade unoccupied land;
- The property clause in the Constitution should be done away with; and
- 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 EFF push for the abolishment of provincial governments and the strengthening of local government;
- No municipality should use labour brokers;
- Municipalities should expropriate land within their boundaries and redistribute it;
- Tenders should be abolished in local government and the building of houses should not be outsourced to the private sector;
- All wards in 2016 should be contested by the EFF and the provincial command teams should be politically educated before the end of 2015.
- The central command team must devise a mobilisation strategy to “capture” the youth who had not voted this year;
- The nomination of EFF candidates would be done in consultation with communities;
- The central command team should develop EFF councillors; and
- 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. The commission recommended that:
- History be a compulsory subject in school;
- The pass mark should be at least 50%;
- The government should build schools where people live;
- The government should rid of the school transport system of corruption;
- The government should provide free sanitary towels to schoolgirls;
- The government should scrap the National Student Financial Aid Scheme and introduce free, quality education until after the first tertiary degree.
- The EFF should establish a bursary fund;
- Health services should be free, accessible and nationalised;
- The government should open nursing colleges; employ home-based careers; provide mobile clinics; and establish a state-owned pharmaceutical company; and
- The EFF should explore the possibility of legalising dagga and other herbs used for medical reasons and hold discussions with traditional leaders on ways to improve circumcision.
Vuyisile Schoeman delivered the report of the international relations commission:
- A programme of action on international relations should be developed;
- The EFF should strengthen relations with other progressive international parties;
- The EFF should advocate for radical transformation of the United Nations and call for the dismantling of international organs such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation; and
- The commission asked that all political prisoners in Swaziland be released and the kingdom isolated.
Justice and Correctional Services
Commissar Kgotso Morapela reported on the justice and correctional services commission. The recommendations were: l
- The EFF needed to attract lawyers who would be able to provide services to the poor;
- The EFF should hold mini-clinics on law to educate rural communities about the justice system and the school curriculum should include basic law subjects;
- The bail system should be reviewed;
- The EFF should launch an antirape campaign and the definition of rape should be amended to include sexual harassment of men;
- The mind-set of police officers needed to change so that they could see their service as a calling and not merely a job;
- Strikes in the South African National Defence Force should be discouraged and people should be encouraged to get at least one year military training after matriculating;
- The salaries of the security cluster should be reviewed and standardised; and
- Multinational security corporations should be exposed so that South Africans could see how they have taken over the ruling party.
Collen Sedibe reported on economic transformation:
- Education should be biased towards the industrialisation of the economy and 40% should be theoretical and 60% practical;
- EFF branches should be at the forefront of building consciousness about economic freedom;
- Section 25 of the Constitution should be amended to ensure expropriation and the state must have ownership of, among others, Sasol, ArcelorMittal, PPC and other cement companies;
- A state bank should be established; l 60% of minerals should be beneficiated and trade policies should be reviewed for industrialisation;
- The Competition Commission should review penalties for collusion and transfer pricing and profit shifting should be criminalised;
- EFF branches around mines should have programmes to demand action from the mines;
- The state should procure all its food from local farmers and intervene in the agro-processing sector; and
- The state must take control of resources and the redistribution of land.