The Soshanguve Giant Stadium, where EFF leader Julius Malema will be launching his party’s election manifesto today. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Pretoria - Townships north of Tshwane are expected to be shut down on Saturday by a “sea of red” as the EFF launches its election manifesto and makes its campaign in the city official.

Party leaders, members and those curious and interested are expected to flock to the Soshanguve Giant Stadium from this morning, at an event everyone is invited to attend.

The build-up to the event was marked by the presence of “The Red Berets” from midweek, from trucks and vans bearing the face of party leader Julius Malema roaming around the townships, to bike crews dressed in red in the city centre.

By Friday morning, final touches were being put to the stage, in the stadium which can accommodate 20 000 and which the party hopes to fill to capacity, and there was a buzz in and around the area.

Clean-up crews were also busily at work to ensure that the stadium was ready, with security personnel making their final checks before the big day.

EFF deputy secretary-general Hlengiwe Mkhaliphi said the party was determined to push for support all across the country.

This was why the decision was taken to hold the party’s manifesto launch in Tshwane this year.

She said the decision was decided on randomly by the party’s leadership. “We are targeting everywhere, even former ANC strongholds. And we encourage people to come and hear the manifesto. “The people need to hear this, because our manifesto is not what the leadership of the party think is important, but what the people have been saying is important to them.”

For this, Mkhaliphi said the members had conducted door-to-door campaigns to find out from the people what they wanted the party to focus on. In the build-up, members had also handed out leaflets and attended community meetings in and around Tshwane. Mkhaliphi said they wanted to hear first-hand from the people of their day-to-day struggles.

She said the party was confident they could fill the stadium to capacity and even go further than that as they had received positive responses from community members.

“We are going to be focusing on all areas, all wards and all across the country, because the response has been extremely good. People are gearing up for a change now.”

The event is expected to start at noon, and run into the afternoon, when Malema will deliver his party’s manifesto.