EFF manifesto focuses on job creation and load shedding

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has promised to end load shedding and create jobs ahead of the national elections. Picture: Nicholas Rama

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has promised to end load shedding and create jobs ahead of the national elections. Picture: Nicholas Rama

Published Feb 18, 2024



EVEN after 30 years of democracy, black South Africans remain on the margins of economic production while the country has been confronted with a crisis of load shedding.

These are the words of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which launched its manifesto in KwaZulu-Natal last weekend.

The party launched its manifesto ahead of the general elections this year and as most political parties prepare to launch their manifestos in the coming weeks.

However, a date for the elections has not been announced.

The party said those who participate in the economy do so as suppliers of cheap and easily disposable labour, while landlessnes and joblessness among black South Africans are at crisis level.

They said this poses the biggest challenge that confronts South African society today.

The party added that the country was trapped in a vicious cycle of underdevelopment, under-performance, and an unpredictable future due to an incompetent, direction-less and vision-less government.

“In 2024, South Africa is confronted with a crisis of load shedding caused by a government that is unable to guarantee dependable and reliable electricity generation, transmission, and distribution to the entire society,” read the EFF’s manifesto.

The party introduced its theme for elections as: Our Land and Jobs Now. Stop Load shedding!

Statistics SA said unemployment in South Africa stood at 31.95% in the third quarter of 2023.

The EFF said the emphasis on jobs was motivated by the sad reality that after 30 years of attempts at addressing the matter, more than 11 million capable South Africans who need jobs were unemployed, with no hope that anything would change. The party said 13 million people were not economically active.

“The emphasis now is informed by the fact that 30 years is a rather long time for any political party to keep making empty promises. The emphasis on ‘now’ is also because our people live in absolute poverty.

“Similarly, the emphasis on ‘now’ is because our people are landless. The emphasis on now is because our people are jobless. Yet again, the emphasis is on ‘now’ is because the crisis of racialised poverty, inequality, underdevelopment, landlessness and joblessness are being experienced now and must be resolved now.”

The manifesto was released two days after President Cyril Ramaphosa said the number of South Africans employment increased from 8 million in 1994 to over 16.7 million to date, stating that it was three times bigger than it was 30 years ago.

Ramaphosa also said the worst of load shedding was “behind us”, adding that the government last year implemented a major debt relief package, meant to enable Eskom to make investments in maintenance and ensure its sustainability going forward.

The EFF argued that political change in 1994 did not bring true liberation but was a bluff which continues to subject black people to economic and social apartheid.

“We are not part of the Codesa and 1994 transitional compromises, which only focused on taking over political office without control of the economy. We are a generation that is fighting for true economic emancipation now.

“The emphasis on stopping load shedding is due to the fact that despite many empty promises, the South African government has not brought forth a dependable electricity plan that will guarantee the supply of electricity for all its citizens.”

The party added that the economy continues to be under the ownership and control of the white minority settlers, whose ownership of land in particular, was gained through settler colonialism and its corollary - the dispossession of the black colonised.

“The post-1994 governments have dismally failed to transfer economic power to the black majority and, even worse, to optimally use government ownership and control of certain state assets for the benefit of all South Africans.

“Instead, they have reproduced and worsened apartheid economic inequalities, such that a prominent defining characteristic of all post-1994 governments is their perpetuation of economic apartheid defined along racial lines,” read the manifesto.

In 2019, the EFF gained 10% of the national vote to become the third largest opposition party after the DA, who also had launched their manifesto yesterday (Saturday). The party is popular among young people due to its radical policies that include expropriation of land, nationalisation of mines and banks.

However, with newly-formed political parties such as uMkhonto we Sizwe, BOSA, ActionSA also expected to participate in the upcoming elections, it remains to be seen if the EFF support will surge or decline.

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