An early morning at Orlando Stadium, and the many businessmen and woman prepare to make a little cash from the anticipated Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) supporters or commonly referred to as “Fighters”. Making their way to the EFF 2016 municipal election manifesto launch held at Orlando Stadium, Soweto.
A business opportunity like any other soccer march or rally held in Johannesburg – with many coming from near and far to make a profit.  

Nhlamulo Mayimele, was geared in her red EFF branded T-shirt.  She traveled by foot carrying her stock in a wheelbarrow, from Zimhlophe to the stadium.  Her stall only has a few snacks – iced juices in her bucket, cigarettes all placed on a black plastic on the ground. Mayimele left her three and ten year-old children at home and despite feeling ill, she was determined to come to make a hopeful thousand rand from her time here.  

Cutting up a cabbage while filling up pots full of food, like braai’ed meat, Lydia Maluleka and her two nieces are preparing for the crowd of hungry fighters coming to support the EFF manifesto in Orlando Stadium Soweto.  She and her nieces arrived at the stadium at 6AM from Thembisa East of Johannesburg, selling tea and baked scones for R10 a packet.  Arriving in white Bakkie – the back of the bakkie is full with containers with her merchandise mostly food – “I am here because I want money, I working hard to get it. I am here for business, that’s why I’m here.  I’m hoping that there will be something different coming from EFF – I’m tired of poverty.”

Hope, and Lindiwe Radebe are cousins helping their aunt Maluleka with the business.  Hope Redebe is only 18, a high school student from Mamelodi Pretoria, she says she wouldn’t miss this moment even if you paid her. 

“I took a taxi yesterday after school from Mamelodi, to Thembisa to help my aunt. We were cooking all night and only slept for an hour at 4am and woke up at five to come here.  We are tired but this is where I want to be.” Hope says.  Her cousin Lindiwe is unemployed and says that she is an unashamed EFF supporter. “We don’t have Jobs, if you want a job somehow you must have a connections, you must have an ANC connection and I don’t have connections. So what must I do – that is why I am here. I’m an in the EFF shem.”

Maluleke lives in Thembisa Winnie Mandlela, an informal settlement and says she has been waiting for a house since she applied ten years ago.  Originally from Giyane, Limpopo, she came to Johannesburg for better economic prospects and has since found none, apart from her own means of surviving. 

“I have been waiting for a house – I don’t know why it’s taking so long.  My son matriculated in 2012 and can’t get a bursary to go to school,” says Maluleke. Her plan today was to make money, but she continues to say that, “we will have to see what Julius does with position he is given when he wins.  Because like the ANC we had hoped for change but they turned their back on us – so we’ll just have seen.” 

Just next to Maluleka’s stall is Zandile Twala, an elderly woman who is a veteran in selling at stadiums and any events that happen all in and around Johannesburg. “Its purely business, for me. I am too old to be running around politics. Later on tonight I’m going to Limpopo – to sell there with an organised group of ladies I sell with.  We travel a lot.” 

A calm Twala sits next to her table with cool drinks, snacks and cigarettes displayed. She has two children and three grandchildren who all support different political parties, “at home – everyone has their own party, I don’t support anything anymore, I know the ANC has too many things going wrong.  We expected that it would be this bad – but I think they might come right some day.” says Twala. 

Some of the plans and promises made in the EFF Manifesto are directed and centred on Job creation.  The manifesto states that a EFF run municipality will be transparent, corruption free and ensure value for money in every cent possible, it continues to state that the EFF will put an end to cadre deployment practices and says that all employers will be employed on the basis of their qualifications.  

Striking a cord with Mosola Ntseuoa – a SAPS policeman from Bloemfontein was the municipal plans to end councillors implicated with corruption and feels that the EFF, is the only party that understands the issues faced by public servants. 

“We currently have a colonel that was caught red handed with evidence from bank statements proving that he was misusing the work petrol card for private use. Instead of firing him or even suspending him – they just deployed him from Welkom to Thabanshu in Limpopo.  Nothing was done.” Says Ntseuoa. 

Ntseuoa believes that there is promise for change for his situation, as he is currently suspended for what he says are party lines affecting the station he is in. “I was suspended because I am not a ANC member. I was victimised many times – they suspended me for releasing protest.  And said I took a bribe- but I know the only reason why I’m suspended and not the colonel is because his ANC. 

10 Emotive Points from the EEF Manifesto

  1. The EFF will make sure that a minimum of 50% of basic goods services and products consumed in the municipality are manufactured, processed or assembled within the Municipality.  
  2. The EFF will abolish the usage of consultants to perform basic Functions of the Municipality.
  3. EFF Councillors will be expected to be available for 24 hours per day to assist all people in their communities they serve.
  4. Senior officials will not be allowed to have businesses with the Municipality. 
  5. The EE will pass by-laws, which will expropriate and allocate land equitably to all residents of the municipality.  
  6. A prospective EFF-run municipality wills to create jobs through direct service delivery to the people, through gradual abolition of tenders. 
  7. Each ward should have a safe and clean well resourced Early Childhood Development Centre that looks after children and prepares them form primary school.  
  8. The Municipality run by EFF purports to provide flushing toilets connected to the Municipality sewage system and/or to clean safe and durable septic tanks. And provide Clean and well-serviced toilets in all public spaces in towns, townships and villages. 
  9. The EFF will be employing community health Workers who will be responsible for the wellbeing of the people in the Municipality.  Designating one community Worker to a 100 households – expected to visit at least a minimum of once a month.  
  10. Ensuring safety and security – the EFF manifesto ensure that the safety of residences by supporting street committees and employ community safety workers who will guard the streets and work with the police to isolate and arrest criminals in the communities.