Former EFF treasurer-general Leigh-Ann Mathys, former secretary-general Godrich Gardee, party MPs Marshall Dlamini and former EFF Gauteng treasurer Omphile Maotwe, speaking during a press conference. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)
Former EFF treasurer-general Leigh-Ann Mathys, former secretary-general Godrich Gardee, party MPs Marshall Dlamini and former EFF Gauteng treasurer Omphile Maotwe, speaking during a press conference. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

Organisational reports shows the state of the EFF

By Khaya Koko Time of article published Dec 15, 2019

Share this article:

Johannesburg - The coastal provinces of Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape and Western Cape continue to be an organisational Achilles heels for the EFF, with dysfunctional structures and low branch numbers and voter turnout. 

Gauteng and Limpopo, however, carry the banner for the six-year-old party, with substantially high branch-and-voter numbers, including a commendable disciplinary record in Limpopo – factoring in the large size of EFF leader Julius Malema's home province compared to others.

The EFF’s organisational report, which was tabled by the party’s former secretary-general Godrich Gardee on Saturday evening, gives a lucid overview of the state of its provinces.

Below, we provide a summary of each EFF province.   

Eastern Cape

This province was the second to have its Provincial Command Team (PCT) disbanded in September 2016 – just over a year after it was elected in July 2015.

Reasons proffered in the organisational report for the disbanding was that the province was riddled with dysfunctionality.

“The province did not have branch structures and where they existed, they were too weak to sustain organisational growth. After the intervention of the Central Command Team (CCT, the party’s highest decision-making body in between conferences), a steady growth was realised and this evidenced by the huge in the number of votes received in 2019…” 

The Eastern Cape grew from 3.4% at the 2014 National and Provincial Elections (NPE) to 7.8% in May 2019.

Wards & Branches:

 The report said the EC had 705 IEC voting wards, where the EFF received 100 or more votes in 502 of them in May 2019.

The province has launched 616 branches as of 2018, but only 221 met the threshold of 100 or more members renewing their membership. 

Achievements:

 A host of achievements were listed regarding the EC, one of which was how the EFF in the EC assisted Magwa Tea Estates workers, who went over a year without being paid their salaries.

Disciplinary:

 Seven matters have been referred to the EC’s disciplinary committee, all of which had guilty verdicts. These included defaulting on party levies, public representatives not buying bakkies and non-attendance of party events.

All seven members were councillors in the province and were expelled.

Free State

Three of the five regions in the FS are said to not have the requisite EFF branding at its offices, with Xhariep, which encompasses the rural town of Trompsburg, being deemed as “the weakest link” in the province.  

Wards & Branches:

 There are 309 IEC voting in the FS, with 291 of them attaining over 100 or more votes for the EFF in May 2019.

There were 278 branches launched in2018, with only 118 meeting the threshold of 100 or more members renewing their membership.

Successes:

 One of the achievements the FS listed over the past five years included the Land Occupation in the Fezile Dabi region, “which resulted in the successful allocation of residential stands to over 2 500 household in Metsimamolo”.

Disciplinary:

 Four matters were referred to the province’s committee since 2014, with two suspensions and two expulsions of councillors, one of whom was the Fezile Dabi regional secretary.

Conduct included the defaulting on the party levy, which all the EFF’s public representatives have to pay, and the failure to register candidates in four wards during the 2016 local government elections.

Gauteng

This is the province with the highest number of EFF support and voters in the country, the party’s five Gauteng regions being recorded as fully functional and branded.

The only concern was a PCT member – one of 21 – who missed three consecutive meetings and was dismissed from the provincial structure.

Wards & Branches:

 There are 529 IEC voting wards in the province, with the EFF receiving 100 or more votes in all of them.

The EFF launched 469 branches in the country’s economic centre, with 259 of them meeting the threshold of 100 or more members renewing their membership.

Successes:

 Under the leadership of its provincial chairperson Mandisa Mashego, the provinces focused a majority of its programmes on tackling gender-based violence, including two massive women’s-only marches in 2019.

The party said that these marches resulted in it seeing a “positive change” in attitude by police watchdog, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), which has arrested four officers for allegedly killing an innocent citizen.

Disciplinary:

 Eleven matters were referred to the province’s committee for issues ranging from voting with the opposition and one related to gender-based violence.

Of the 11, eight resulted in expulsions, including the six Mogale City councillors, who voted with the ANC in 2017 to remove the DA-led coalition government – contrary to the instructions of the EFF.

KwaZulu-Natal

This province had the dubious honour of being the first to have its PCT disbanded in October 2015; a mere seven months after the structure was elected.

“The PCT was disruptive, not launching branches and committing on organisational work. The province did not have branch structures and where they existed, they were too weak to sustain organisational growth,” the organisational report read.

Coupled with that, the Ugu region in the KZN South Coast, which encompasses resort towns such as Margate and Port Shepstone, has launched court action against the EFF, with the purpose of nullifying its provincial structure.

The UMzinyathi region does not have an elected leadership, but is under an interim leadership core.

However, KZN recorded significant growth in the May 2019 NPE compared to 2014, going from a paltry 0.3% to 9.7%.

Wards & Branches:

 Of the 870 IEC voting wards, the EFF managed to receive 100 or more votes in 801 of them. The situation, however, is dire when looking at branches, where 783 were launched, but only 271 met the threshold of 100 or more members renewing their membership.

Successes:

 The province prided itself of having organised 11 provincial mass meetings – one in each region – without the assistance of the EFF’s national headquarters. The biggest rally was held in April 2019, led by Marshall Dlamini – the party’s newly-minted secretary-general.

Disciplinary:

 Fourteen matters were referred to the provincial committee, all of which resulted in guilty verdicts on issues ranging from corruption, failure to do organisational work and defaulting on party-levy payments.

A total of 12 councillors have been expelled in the province.

Limpopo

The home of the EFF president has the laudable record of having all elected leaders within the provincial structure and all five regional structures still being active, with no resignations or dismissals.

Wards & Branches:

 In the province’s 566 IEC voting wards, the EFF received 100 or more votes in 535 of them. On branches, 546 were launched, with 298 meeting the threshold of 100 or more members renewing their membership.

Successes:

 Limpopo had 20 mass programmes without the assistance of the national office, with the most significant being over the Freedom Day weekend in April 2019, where all five of its regions held rallies.

Sekhukhune region hosted the provincial rally, which Malema addressed.

Disciplinary:

 Considering the size of the EFF in Limpopo compared to its other provinces, only seven matters were referred to the committee, which resulted in two guilty verdicts for ill-discipline.

One member was expelled and the other suspended.

Mpumalanga

Although all its 21 provincial leaders are still active, only 47 of 60 regional leaders in the four regions are still active. The 13 regional leaders all resigned, with eight resignations in Gert Sibande alone.

Wards & Branches:

 In the 400 IEC voting wards, the EFF received 100 or more votes in a sizeable 389. However, the branches still lag behind as only 215 the threshold of 100 or more members renewing their membership met the threshold of 100 or more members renewing their membership, of the 362 launched.

Successes:

 Mpumalanga prides itself in having organised 68 mass activities without the help of its national office. The programmes it has championed included women and child abuse, as well as poor public facilities in the provinces.

The EFF in Mpumalanga also managed to usurp the DA as the official opposition, after the Red Berets almost doubled their share of the provincial vote from 6.8% in 2014 to 12.8% in May 2019.

Disciplinary:

 Six matters, all resulting in guilty verdicts and expulsion, have been referred to its provincial committee for defaulting on party-levy payments and failing to do organisational work.

“Among those expelled was the former Provincial Secretary, Alfred Skhosana, for incompetency and abandoning organisational tasks and duties,” the organisational report said.

North West

The North West is also one of the provinces, which manages to keep its provincial and regional leadership active, with all its 21 PCT members still intact.

Of the 60 regional leaders in its four regions, 57 are still active, with two being dismissed in Dr Ruth Mompati for missing 3 consecutive meetings. The other regional leader resigned to pursue business, but is still an EFF member.

Wards & Branches:

 Of the 407 IEC wards, the party gained 100 or more votes in 394 of them. This resulted in the EFF assuming official opposition status in the provinces at the expense of the DA, with the six-year-old organisation rising from 12.7% in 2014 to 18.6% in May 2019.

It has also managed to maintain its branches, with 165 meeting the threshold of 100 or more members renewing their membership out of 285 branches launched.

Successes:

 The province organised 8 mass activities on its own, including a provincial manifesto launch in April 2019, which Julius Malema addressed.

Disciplinary:

 There have been 13 matters referred to its committee, resulting in 12 guilty findings for, in the main, bringing the organisation into disrepute. All 12 were expelled.  

Northern Cape

In terms of the strength of the organisation, the EFF is really struggling to create and maintain a foothold in the sparsely-populated province.

There have been three of the 21 PCT members, who have allegedly absconded from their posts, while an astounding 51 of 71 regional leaders still considered as active.

Wards & Branches:

 The NC has performed poorly in this respect, only managing to receive a paltry 100 or more votes in 74 of the 204 IEC voting wards.

The NC also had just 72 branches the threshold of 100 or more members renewing their membership, out of 185 launched.

Successes:

 Not many successes have been noted for the NC, with only five mass programmes in five years, without the assistance of EFF headquarters, being recorded.

Disciplinary:

 Of the 12 matters referred, 11 have resulted in guilty findings on issues of, chiefly, the non-payment of party levies by public representatives. 

This resulted in five expulsions.

Western Cape

Another of the four coastal provinces within the EFF, which has also lagged behind regarding the organisation’s growth ambitions. The province has six regions, with only four being regarded as active.

The WC, along with KZN and the EC, also form part of the top three EFF provinces with the most number of non-participating wards in local by-elections.

“Poor performance in by-election is found in the provinces of Eastern Cape (5%), KwaZulu-Natal (3%), and Western Cape (3%),” the report read.

Wards & Branches:

 Of the 402 IEC wards in the province, the EFF attained 100 or more votes in 160. Regarding branches, there were 368 launched, with 101 meeting the threshold of 100 or more members renewing their membership.

Successes:

 The province, however, seemed to have had a busy programme in the last five years compared to its counterparts.

“In keeping with the organisation’s values and fight against racism, the organisation has held numerous marches against racism in the province, which is notorious for its discrimination and racism.”

One of its listed successes to the above include the protest on the upmarket Clifton beach in December 2018 following reports of racism by the City of Cape Town’s security forces on the beach. This protest culminated in a sheep being slaughtered live on television in an effort to “cleanse” the beach of racism.

Disciplinary:

 Two matters were referred to the provincial committee, which resulted in only one guilty finding for failure to pay party levies. No expulsions were recorded.  

@khayakoko88  

The Star

Share this article: