EFF supporters at the party’s election manifesto launch at Giant Stadium in Soshanguve yesterday. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
The elections may be four months away, but the major parties’ campaigns are already in full swing with the EFF unveiling its manifesto before thousands of its supporters.

EFF leader Julius Malema told supporters at the 18 000-seater Giant stadium in Soshanguve, Tshwane, the EFF was ready to take on the ANC.

National and provincial elections are expected to be held in May. 

The term of the National Assembly and provincial legislatures ends on May 6 and elections must be held within 90 days thereafter. President Cyril Ramaphosa has strongly hinted that the country will go to the polls in the same month.

The DA will launch its manifesto on February 23, while Bantu Holomisa will be the keynote speaker at the UDM manifesto launch at the Isaac Wolfson Stadium in KwaZakhele, Port Elizabeth, on February 16.

In Soshanguve, an area where the five-year old party has a strong support base, the EFF unveiled a 168-page manifesto that it said was based on feedback it had received from different sectors through public consultation, letters to different organisations, social media and oral submissions, its founding documents and experience from participating in the national and provincial legislatures and municipal councils.

Malema said the EFF did not want land and jobs in 2030 - “we are hungry now.”

He said the EFF wants the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to be declared a chapter nine institution accountable to Parliament like the offices of the auditor-general and the public protector.

The party said the aim was to guarantee its independence in the fight against corruption and crime.

To achieve this Malema said the party will seek to amend the constitution in order to stop selective prosecution and fight corruption.

Malema said he did not trust newly appointed National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi, who started in her new position on Friday.

“I don’t trust the new head of the NPA. She is too close to (public enterprises minister) Pravin Gordhan,” he said.

Malema said if elected, his party would appoint an independent head of the NPA to prosecute everyone, whether they are party members or not.

Under its 2019 election slogan, Our Land and Jobs Now, Malema said the EFF undertook to redistribute land in a demographically representative manner and black people would control the majority of land.

Malema said the ANC government had promised 30% of the land for restitution, but had delivered only 7% since 1994.

In addition, the party rejected President Cyril Ramaphosa’s national minimum wage of R3 500 a month.

An EFF government would set the minimum wage for the lowest paid workers at R4 500 a month for full-time waiters and cleaners and up to R12 500 for mineworkers.

He said an EFF cabinet would be energetic and made up of young men and women.

There would be no deputy ministers under an EFF government and members of the executive would not receive housing from the government.

The EFF wants public representatives and public servants to forfeit their pension benefits if found guilty of corruption

”Any person who steals from government is stealing from the poor,” said Malema, adding that under an EFF government politicians guilty of corruption would face up to 20 years in prison.

Under its administration, racism would be declared a punishable criminal offence.

If elected, Malema promised a 6% economic growth rate in the first two years of its government and 10% in the next three through interventions such as expanding Eskom’s capacity by providing environmentally friendly power from coal, nuclear and renewable sources of energy.

“We will ensure that the nuclear we will introduce does not cripple the economy. Not Zuma’s nuclear,” Malema said, referring to the controversial nuclear deal Zuma’s administration sought with Russia.

Other interventions include stabilising water supply, stabilising state-owned companies and forcing asset managers to place a minimum of 30% of investments in the productive and not speculative economy.

According to the manifesto, the EFF government will enforce the investment of a minimum of 40% of all state-guaranteed pension funds in infrastructure and the productive economy.

On Saturday, Ramaphosa launched the ANC’s Northern Cape 2019 elections manifesto at Galeshewe Stadium in Kimberley.

He said South Africans should not fear the revelations emerging in various commissions of inquiry.

“The truth that is coming out will set us free and will make us stronger, but we must make sure the wrong things being talked about in the commissions must never, ever, ever, ever happen again in South Africa,” Ramaphosa told thousands of ANC supporters at Galeshewe.

“We never want to go back to the things that are being revealed in the commissions.

“We want to make sure it never happens again,” he said.

South Africa has, since January, been astonished by revelations made at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture.

Two other commissions have thus far revealed equally disturbing patterns of cronyism, fraud, corruption, and political manipulation.

Sunday Independent