The EFF manifesto launch will take place at Moses Mabhida Stadium. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images via Getty Images)
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), at the launch of its 2024 election manifesto on Saturday, is expected to promise relief from electricity shortages and unemployment, should the party take a parliamentary majority in this year’s elections.
Party chairperson Veronica Mente said fireworks are certain at the party’s manifesto,
themed “Victory to 2024”, where leader Julius Malema is set to address members in the 55 500-seater Moses Mabhida Stadium about solutions needed to address load-shedding.
Malema has said publicly that the solution to load-shedding is extending the lifespan of coal-fired power stations until the renewable energy sector can prove it is capable of generating enough megawatts to sustain the country.
Mente said the manifesto will also clarify the EFF’s stance on coalitions, which will ensure the party stays in governing positions.
Despite strained relations between the ANC and the EFF in Gauteng, Mente said the party was willing to “have a conversation” with Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, provided the ANC agrees to the Red Berets’ conditions of power-sharing in the province and municipalities.
“If the ANC extends an invitation again for a coalition, we will hear them out,” she said.
The conditions include leading influential positions such as the finance department in the metros to enable the EFF to have authority over decisions regarding service delivery and budget flow.
Mente said the party would not compromise on its conditions because they are instrumental in enabling the EFF to fulfil promises made to the voters on service delivery.
The agreements allowed the two parties to appoint members of the mayoral committee in Gauteng metros, except in Tshwane, where the partnership is still the minority.
Mente said the EFF’s ambitions to lead in government were realised when a coalition with the ANC saw EFF members taking up leadership positions in mayoral executives in Gauteng.
The latest Ipsos poll released on Tuesday has found that the ANC electoral fortunes are expected to decline to 38.5% from 50% in 2019 and the EFF to increase to 18.6% from 14.69% in 2019.
The results for other parties are: Democratic Alliance (17.3%), Inkatha Freedom Party (3.6%), ActionSA (3.4%), African Christian Democratic Party (0.9%), Freedom Front Plus (0.8%) and other parties 6.8%.
During the 2021 municipal elections, the ANC won 46% of the vote, forcing it to form coalitions with opposition parties. It is likely this trend will continue in the coming elections.
According to the Ipsos survey: “This suggests that the possibility of a national-level coalition is conceivable, though not guaranteed. In the event of such an election outcome, the ANC would only require a party with about 4% to 6% national support as a coalition partner to establish a national government.
“A coalition involving just two parties could streamline negotiations and potentially enhance the coalition’s effectiveness. However, it’s essential to stress that this is purely speculative, and numerous further studies will be conducted in the lead-up to the 2024 election.”
Mente said the party would also consider liaising with uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) under the leadership of former president Jacob Zuma as soon as the MK addresses the uncertainty regarding its registration.
“So far we have seen the MK and we have seen that they are busy in the country, but we will only engage them when we know more about them. So far we are not even sure who represents them or what they stand for, so when they resolve that, we can have a conversation,” she said.
The ANC and the MK party are seen as the EFF’s likely coalition partners, following parties in the Multi-Party-Charter rejecting the Red Berets for their stance on issues such as migrants and land.
Early this week, ActionSA’s national spokesperson, Michael Beaumont, said the party agreed with the Democratic Alliance that it would not work with the EFF at a provincial or national level because of the Red Berets’ differing policies.
“When you take over a government, you need to sit down on day one and work out how to fix the economy. When we hear [the EFF] talking about nationalising the Reserve Bank and taking the land away and all sorts of bizarre economic offers, we find that those policies are highly problematic in South Africa,” he said.
Beaumont warned that if the EFF continued to pursue its policies it would find itself with no one to dance with in the election terrain.
“The EFF’s behaviour has made it very difficult to work with them because they’ve become more extreme and more polarising. And that doesn’t help because when you’re trying to build a coalition that can remove the ANC,” he said.