Thousands of insourced workers counted among EFFSC wins

 

 

Close to 11 000 workers have been insourced at universities since the beginning of the Fees Must Fall movement.

This is according to the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) organisational report, which was presented to 4 000 delegates at the party’s second policy and elective conference on Saturday. The four-day conference is being held in Johannesburg under the banner “consolidating the ground towards socialist power”.

The insourcing of workers at institutions of higher learning is counted among the victories of the EFF Student Command (EFFSC), which this weekend will have its fate debated amid suggestions that it should be disbanded.

According to the report, 10 902 workers have been insourced. The majority of these workers (2 246) were insourced at the University of Venda, followed by Vaal University of Technology (2 190).

READ MORE: The workers’ struggle for dignity that’s almost won

The organisational report, presented by EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee, notes that although these institutions “have paraded a convincing narrative of happy workers and good masters to the country, they have continued to frustrate, suspend and even fire workers they claim they have insourced”.


The report adds: “The EFF Student Command and the entire student populace has not won the struggle but has won crucial battles towards the insourcing of previously underpaid, abused and dehumanised workers.”

The student command was founded in June 2015 and rose to prominence during the movement for fee-free education, which kicked off later that year.

In 2015, the student wing of the EFF — now the third-largest political party in the country — only managed to secure Student Representative Council (SRC) wins at four campuses. By 2019, it had secured 29 SRC presidencies across most provinces, barring the Eastern Cape and the Free State.

The report further notes that the Fees Must Fall movement “has been heavily infiltrated and rigged by divisions”.

According to the report, early into its formation the EFFSC was forced into operating from within the movement due to it not having coordinating structures or branches in most South African universities.

The EFFSC has “paid dearly for this arrangement” as its members were consistently targeted for arrests, suspensions and expulsions, the report reads. There were over 400 student arrests between 2015 and 2016.

In the press briefing following the presentation of the organisational report, Gardee said that the EFF does not regret the association of the student command to the Fees Must Fall movement, which led to arrests and expulsions of its members. Gardee said the party was aware of the “inherent risk” of participating in a “revolution”.

EFF leader Julius Malema has in recent months questioned the usefulness of the party’s student wing.

In a November press briefing, Malema reportedly said leaders of the party “coerced us into forming a student command prematurely. Now we are sitting with an animal called the student command which cannot do anything without the mother body”.

Malema also reportedly said the EFFSC would lose SRC elections without the presence of the party’s leadership.

The EFF’s organisational report indicates that the party has noted “careerism and opportunism” as a challenge in the run-up to SRC elections.

The EFFSC “has over the years attracted opportunistic individuals” who have used it “for their own personal gains”, the report reads, adding that measures must be put in place to vet and monitor candidates before they are deployed.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit is a general news reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She covers topics relating to labour, corruption and the law.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

How smuggled gold destined for Dubai or Singapore has links...

Three Malagasy citizens were apprehended at OR Tambo International airport, but now the trail is found to connect to France and Mali

How lottery execs received dubious payments through a private company

The National Lottery Commission is being investigated by the SIU for alleged corruption and maladministration, including suspicious payments made to senior NLC employees between 2016 and 2017

More top stories

Spy boss tells how agency was used to detain Zuma’s...

Day two of State Security Agency testimony at the Zondo commission birthed more revelations that point to the former head of state and agents breaking the law

Covax will take excess doses of Covid vaccines off the...

The global initiative plans to deliver two billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines to developing nations

Eastern Cape citizens don’t have to visit the labour department...

This measure, aimed at slowing the spread of Covid-19, may shortly be introduced in other regions.

Covid-19 economic crisis will be felt by the poor for...

The pandemic’s economic fallout will affect the world’s poor for years, while the richest billionaires increase their wealth, an Oxfam report notes
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…