The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) pulled off a highly successful launch of their 2019 election manifesto with a promise to ensure land redistribution and jobs should the party take a parliamentary majority in the May poll.
Party supporters packed the Giant Stadium in Soshanguve, Pretoria, to hear EFF president unveil the package of policy proposals, which the party has generated through its founding manifesto and a series of engagements with its supporters around the country.
Themed “Our land and jobs now”, the manifesto says the party will end government’s dependence on external services providers which, the EFF says, is a result of a legislative and policy framework which has over 25 years, created a tenderpreneur class.
Addressing the launch, Malema described the EFF as a government in waiting, saying people are no longer willing to wait for land and jobs, which the ANC had failed to deliver since it took power in 1994.
Malema said that nearly 50% of young people are unemployed and the bulk of those who did have jobs were being exploited by labour brokers. The party has promised to deal with this problem if comes into power.
Malema provided a summary of the manifesto, which totals around 170 pages, saying that it would be reproduced and distributed among party structures and made available for the door-to-door campaign which would start immediately after the launch.
Malema said the “nonsense” of disparity in wages between men and women in sport and elsewhere in society would be ended by the EFF.
Cabinet, he said, would be cut in size, with deputy ministers being scrapped and “energetic” ministers appointed by the EFF.
Malema said that buildings and streets named after “apartheid rapists” would be renamed.
According to its manifesto, the EFF plans to introduce land distribution policies which would “guarantee” land for landless people for residential, commercial and farming purposes.
The party would also create special industrial zones to rebuild South Africa’s manufacturing sector, ensuring that minerals mined in the country would be turned into products here and exported to create jobs.
State grants would be doubled in size, while state resources would be used to create further jobs by ensuring that government built its own capacity for construction and other projects, rather than issuing tenders to private sector contractors. The state would, under the EFF, eventually phase out tenders completely to help cut down corruption and would stop using consultants.
Provinces would also be phased out by the EFF in government, with resources being focused into national and local government to improve service delivery, cutting wasted expenditure on the provincial administrations.
The state, the manifesto said, would ensure that at least 80 percent of all good and services it used were produced domestically.
The EFF would introduce a minimum wage for various sectors.
Free and compulsory education would be introduced from school to tertiary level.
On corruption, the EFF said it would establish courts to deal with cases of abuse of state funds and resources, while a minimum sentence of 20 years for corruption would be introduced.
Legislation would be introduced to make offenders pay back stolen state funds, while corrupt civil servants would be banned for life for working for or doing business with the state.
State schools would be properly resourced, with a single curriculum being introduced. A minimum pass rate of 50% would be introduced.