EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: Kim Ludbrook  EPA  African News Agency (ANA)
EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: Kim Ludbrook EPA African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - The EFF in KwaZulu-Natal has quadrupled its support in the province, from the lowly dims of 70 000 votes in 2014, to over 300 000 votes.

The EFF in KZN claimed just 1.85% of the vote last time, and by the 92% mark, the red berets were growing substantially, tallying, 304 126 - or 9.5% of the provincial vote.

The success of the EFF comes in the background of an expected decline for the ANC, who still had a slim majority of 53.97%. The ANC had a 64.52% outright majority in 2014, with 2.4 million votes in the province. Currently, at the 92% mark, the ANC had 1.7 million votes.

Vusi Khozi, the EFF KZN’s provincial chairperson, said the party had attracted support from poor, dejected, undermined and working class votes. He said the party had also made inroads with votes from people in higher social spheres.

“This was expected because we ran the most lively campaign when everyone else ran a flat campaign, we were just below 2% and now we are approaching 10% support, we have more than quadrupled our support and that is cause for celebration,” said Khoza.

He was speaking on the sidelines at the KZN regional operations centre, where political parties are monitoring election results closely.

He said the EFF was committed to fighting the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.

“Our election message resonated with people from different backgrounds. We are very pleased with the response and they have understood our message very clearly,” he said.

The EFF has made inroads into KwaZulu-Natal, clinching more than 300 000 votes - which translates to 9.5% of the provincial vote. Video: Sihle Mlambo

At a close look, it appeared the EFF had eaten into the ANC’s share of the vote from the last elections. But the ANC believes that was not the case, but instead, blamed their declining votes on voter apathy.

The EFF however, thought they have garnered some votes from ANC voters.

ANC KZN provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli, also blamed their supporters in the eThekwini region for not turning up to vote.

“Many of our comrades and people who support the ANC did not go out to vote because of the disillusionment in eThekwini in particular. eThekwini is quite down, it is below our expectation in terms of the number of people who went out to vote.

“We don’t think the EFF would have capitalised on those voters, but what the EFF has done, it has always focused on the youth. The number of young people who have been attracted into the rhetoric of the EFF is that is that its support base has been growing among young people and among a few voters who are not happy with the ANC and who have decided to leave the ANC,” said Ntuli.

Khoza said the ANC was a party of the past and that was why supporters were gravitating towards the EFF.

“The EFF has the capacity to draw votes from all political parties, you can see that the ANC is the party of the past, a dying breed. The EFF is the party of the moment and a party of the future, therefore, you will expect that the party of the past will die a natural death. People are gravitating more towards the EFF because our message makes sense and we are moving forward to fulfil the commitments that we have made,” he said.

Ntuli said the EFF may have also made inroads with voters from informal settlements and wi th young people. He said the ANC was still relevant among the young voters.

Sunday Tribune