DECLARATION OF THE ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ON WHAT IS TO BE DONE—26 – 27 JULY 2013.
27 July 2013
We the delegates from all across the length and breadth of South Africa gathered in Soweto on the 26th and 27th of July 2013 to discuss and resolve on the question of What is to be Done? We gather as Economic Freedom Fighters representing non-governmental organisations, youth, workers, traditional leaders, Activists, Movements, Non-Profit organisations, political parties, churches, Intellectuals, Academics, Students, Traditional Chiefs, Headmen and Kings, Independent Councillors, Internationalists, and many others who have responded to the clarion call and gave definite answers on WHAT IS TO BE DONE?
All delegates to the National Assembly had a definite and unequivocal mandate from millions of South Africans that Economic Freedom Fighters should be an economic emancipation movement, which should be mass based, associate and relate constantly with the grassroots and community movements, anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist and most importantly contest political power. Economic Freedom Fighters will therefore be an independent economic emancipation movement which will contest political power in all spheres of government.
We gather on the 26th of July 2013 because we are inspired and agitated by the Cuban July 26 Movement, which from the 26th of July 1953 launched a struggle that culminated in the victorious Cuban Revolution, which is still intact despite trade embargoes, isolation, natural disasters and terrorism against the Cuban people. Cuba remains an inspiration because with a very low GDP per capita income. Cuba is amongst the best countries in terms of healthcare, education, low infant mortality rates, life expectancy and other vital social services. This is a sign that the revolution was about the emancipation of the people, not the enrichment of few individuals who callously and rapaciously redirect State resources for self-enrichment.
We meet in Soweto because we want to draw inspiration in Soweto from Fearless Freedom Fighters who in history have been at the forefront of the revolutionary struggles against apartheid repression and exploitation. Soweto gave birth to many revolutionaries that revolutionised the struggle for political emancipation in the 1940s, Soweto gave birth to the 1976 generation of fearless freedom fighters who dared the apartheid regime and rendered its machinery ungovernable, and now Soweto is giving birth to Economic Freedom Fighters who will carry the struggle to its logical economic emancipation of the people of South Africa.
The EFF is a South African movement with a progressive internationalist outlook, which seeks to engage with global progressive movements. The EFF draws inspiration from the broad Marxist-Leninist tradition and Fanonian schools of thought in their analyses of the state, imperialism, culture and class contradictions in every society. Through organic engagement and a constant relationship with the masses, Economic Freedom Fighters provide clear and cogent alternatives to the current neo-colonial economic system, which in many countries keep the oppressed under colonial domination and subject to imperialist exploitation.
We believe that the best contribution we can make in the international struggle against global imperialism is to rid our country of imperialist domination. For the South African struggle, the EFF cardinal pillars for economic emancipation are the following:
- Expropriation of South Africa’s land without compensation for equal redistribution in use.
- Nationalisation of mines, banks, and other strategic sectors of the economy, without compensation.
- Building state and government capacity, which will lead to the abolishment of tenders.
- Free quality education, healthcare, houses, and sanitation.
- Massive protected industrial development to create millions of sustainable jobs, including the introduction of minimum wages in order to close the wage gap between the rich and the poor, close the apartheid wage gap and promote rapid career paths for Africans in the workplace.
- Massive development of the African economy and advocating for a move from reconciliation to justice in the entire continent.
- Open, accountable, corrupt-free government and society without fear of victimisation by state agencies.
These cardinal pillars constitute the core of our political programme and election programme for the 2014 general elections and beyond. The nature and character of our struggle will be that of a grassroots movement – A Protest Movement for fundamental change. These cardinal pillars are important because South Africa like many other former political colonies is still trapped in the colonial division of labour as supplier of primary commodities to the coloniser nations. This colonial feature cannot and will never be broken by continued economic dominance of private corporations, particularly in the natural and mineral resources sector. Multinational and private ownership of South Africa’s commanding heights of the economy should be discontinued in order to stimulate State-led and aided industrial development.
After careful thought and thorough process of consultation with the masses of our people, we came and resolved that South Africa’s people wishes and aspiration must be respected by launching an organisation which shall fight, strive and advance these aspirations unapologetically!
EFF, as a people’s movement, shall in its content, character and outlook, be a true a ‘weapon of struggle in the hands of the people and a collective effort to solve people’s own problems’.
The National Assembly recognises that South Africa is at a cross-road for all wrong reasons. The hard won victories over colonial, racist and apartheid system have been meaningless although necessary due to lack of economic emancipation of the majority, and African majority. As a consequence thereof, the South Africans, through their delegates spoke overwhelmingly, that, they, the people, need a new alternative, a radical, militant, fearless movement to serve their interest. We reject the National Development Plan because it does not speak to the fundamental change of property relations in South Africa, and will therefore not be a sustainable solution to the unemployment, poverty and inequalities crises confronting South Africa.
Our immediate programme include registration of Economic Freedom Fighters as a political party that will contest the 2014, mobilisation and recruitment of members, establishment of all Regional, Branch and Cell structures and formations of the Movement. Our immediate political programme include building a strong movement of Community based, workers, youth, students, women, and sectoral formations and organisations that will proclaim economic freedom as their political programme.
Our immediate political programme will include joining in the movement that calls for total banning of labour brokers, total and practical rejection and boycott of eTolls, the fight against corruption, resistance to evictions and protest movement for better services in all communities. In light of the New Credit Act, we believe that all our people who have been black-listed must be immediately cleared and given a new start.
EFF takes note of the many ex-Mineworkers, particularly in the Northern and Eastern Cape, who due to their work in the Mines have contracted diseases and sickness. The EFF will take up practical programmes to seek economic justice and reparations for ex-mineworkers who are victims of the Mines.
The EFF will also pay particular attention to the marginalised minority, in particular the Coloured population, the Khoi and the San. EFF will particularly fight for the economic right of the Coloured people in the Western Cape to have access to fishing rights. EFF will join in the struggles of Coloured communities in the Northern and Western Cape, who are paid with alcohol for their work in the Wine Farms. EFF does not view and approach the Coloured population as a voting fodder, but as people who should be really integrated in the holistic development of their communities. The Khoi and the San should be recognised as a people and their language included in the Constitution as an official language.
The National Assembly condemns all manifestations of xenophobia and xenophobic attacks in our communities, and by the South African government. The manner in which the State relates to immigrants, particularly from the Africa is less than satisfactory. EFF will educate society on African unity and solidarity as a way of building a sustainable continent.
EFF will practically mobilise on the question of the remaining colonies in Africa and the Middle East. We call on Morocco to end its occupation and colonisation of Western Sahara. In the same breath, we call on the Apartheid state of Israel to end its racist occupation of Palestinian lands, and join on the call for the international isolation of the Israel through boycotts, divestment and sanctions until they end the occupation. Furthermore, we join the international call on the release of the Cuban Five and lifting of the trade embargo on the Cuba and its people. We also believe that all economic sanctions on Zimbabwe must be lifted and the people of Zimbabwe must be given a chance to enjoy in the wealth of nations.
Our commitment to the development of the African continent and its people reclaiming their economic wealth is unwavering. The wind for political liberation in Africa blew from north to south, and the wind for economic emancipation should now blow from the south to the north. This wind should gain momentum in our lifetime and South Africa must be an inspiration to many other African countries to reclaim their wealth and economies from colonial and neo-colonial masters. We are the generation of Economic Freedom Fighters and our mission is attainment of Economic Freedom in Our Lifetime.