ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS FOUNDING MANIFESTO: RADICAL MOVEMENT TOWARDS ECONOMIC FREEDOM IN OUR LIFETIME:
Adopted by the Economic Freedom Fighters National Assembly on What is to be Done: 26 to 27 July 2013.
“Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfil it, or betray it”- Frantz Fanon
1. Our decision is to fight for the economic emancipation of the people of South Africa, Africa and the world. Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) locate the struggle for economic emancipation within the long resistance of South Africans to racist colonial and imperialist, political, economic, and social domination. This glorious resistance started with the Khoi and San people rising against colonial domination, marked by the arrival of settler colonists in 1652 in the Cape. This basically represents more than 350 years of Africans’ resistance against colonial and economic domination and exploitation.
2. The EFF recognises that, despite temporary victories in this or that battle, Africans were defeated, humiliated, and enslaved by colonial settlers, thereby symbolising colonial victory over the indigenous people of the South African territory. The EFF draws inspiration from the gallant fight those who came before us have mounted, generation after generation, against the superior firepower of the colonists. The EFF intend to elevate this resistance to a decisive victory to vindicate the justness of the cause of liberation wars and to pay tribute to all those who perished fighting for the liberation of the African people and all the oppressed people of our land.
3. Those who fought the gallant wars of resistance did so to resist forced dispossession of land, wealth, livestock and heritage, which they had cherished and inherited from their forebears. More than 350 years later, the war of resistance has not been won, and the battles that were fought almost represent nothing, because 20 years after the attainment of formal political freedom, the black people of South Africa still live in absolute mass poverty, are landless, their children have no productive future, they are mistreated and they are looked down upon in a sea of wealth.
4. While relatively developed, South Africa like many other 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.
5. Our indignation at the continued economic domination of the people of South Africa and the extreme exploitation of the black working class explains where we come from, where we are, what our mission is, what our character is, and what is to be done to emancipate the black people of South Africa, the working class in particular, from economic bondage. The solutions we provide represent a coherent ideological tradition and draw inspiration from developments around the world on what has been done to advance the development and betterment of people’s lives in the aftermath of the defeat of colonialism and against imperialism.
6. South Africa is rooted in the alliance between British and Afrikaner capital. From its inception, capitalism in South Africa was underlined by racism, segregation, and sexism. It discriminated and oppressed the black majority. It discriminated and oppressed women. South African capitalism continues to be characterised by the extreme exploitation of the black working class. In short, the black majority, whatever their class location, are integrated into the mainstream of the economy in a subservient position relative to white people. While the legalistic forms of colonial-apartheid domination have been eroded 20 years ago, the economic system that marginalised, oppressed and exploited the black majority is still intact, with a few individuals benefiting, but only because they have been co-opted to portray a wrong picture that all is and will be well in our country.
7. The EFF note and appreciate the role played by generations of political freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives, were imprisoned, exiled, banished and separated from their families in pursuit of freedom. The reality, nonetheless, is that the political freedom attained symbolically in 1994 through inclusive elections have not translated into economic freedom, which must empower and assist the oppressed and exploited people of South Africa to be liberated from economic and social bondage. This feature of South Africa justifies our struggle for economic freedom and is also directed at the emancipation of the African continent.
THE CURRENT CONDITIONS:
8. The 20 years of political freedom have not borne much significance to the people of South Africa. This is despite the fact that 20 years should, among other things, entail the intensification of South Africa’s political will and its determination to unite the people of South Africa, building sustainable livelihoods for them through the social and economic emancipation of the black majority, and Africans in particular. The political power that was transferred to the black majority through inclusive elections in 1994 was never transformed into economic freedom as the majority of Africans remain on the margins of society as unemployed, underemployed or discriminated-against in their employment, while those who held economic, social and political power since the colonial period continue to enjoy economic, social, and professional privileges. Essentially, the post-1994 government, which has been given an overwhelming mandate to turn political power into total economic emancipation, has in effect rendered the majority of the people a powerless majority by stripping away all revolutionary content from the political power it holds.
9. The post-1994 government has maintained the apartheid and white-supremacist state, with the consequence that the majority, in effect, have become a voting, but powerless, majority. The conditions of the people are generally deplorable and show no evidence of a liberated people. Most of the people of South Africa have to engage in mass action or service-delivery protests to receive attention from government. Some resort to criminal activities, and a majority suffer in silence with the hope that conditions will change for the better. The post-1994 government will not change the conditions of the people for the better and is poisoned by the arrogance of power and the related sins of incumbency. The post-1994 government has lost its capacity to understand the aspirations of the people, hence deepening neglect and violence against the people, from the brazen abuse of power by political authorities and the sheer disregard of the voice of the people.
10. Within this reality, corruption has been institutionalised and, in many instances, legalised through the protection of incumbents from prosecution and investigation. Prosecutions have been selective and used for political vendettas and agendas, while billions of Rands are redirected from the state to the self-enrichment and self-gratification of politicians. Politicians use ministerial handbooks and other forms of legislation inherited from the apartheid past to accumulate wealth and privileges for themselves as individuals. Politicians in high office and in big, private corporations are immunised from prosecution, and are almost always left to do as they wish, even when evidence of violating the law is available.
11. Political power in the control of the post-1994 government is meaningless, because it has not been used to win the battles that began during the wars of dispossession. Instead, the post-1994 government has played an active role in reproducing the inequalities and imbalances of the past by not doing anything to transform the economy, opting for superficial changes through black economic empowerment instead. The neoliberal policy approaches adopted and embraced by the post-1994 government have worsened the conditions of the poor, and ossified the structural unemployment and inequalities designed by colonial and apartheid South Africa. Vestiges of apartheid and colonial economic patterns, ownership and control remain intact despite the attainment of political freedom by the former liberation movement. Political freedom without economic emancipation is meaningless.
12. The post-1994 government has weakened its capacity to provide services, drive economic growth and development. Virtually all functions the state should perform are being performed by the private sector and corporations that often collude to suck from the state the little resources at its disposal. The quality of services provided by the post-1994 government is less than satisfactory owing to the contract and tender system adopted by government, which often leaves private individuals empowered and dis-empowers communities.
13. It is important to highlight the fact that global markets have also penetrated the strategic sectors of the South African economy because of the neoliberal trade liberalisation and loosening of trade exchanges embraced by the post-1994 government. The nature of South Africa’s dependability on the global economy is conspicuously not balanced and happening for the benefit of a few corporations and individuals, not the majority.
14. As a colony/settler-controlled political territory, like all colonies across the world South Africa’s economy in the repressive years of white-supremacist domination was positioned by the coloniser and imperialist forces as a supplier of raw materials and a consumer of imported finished goods and services. This colonial feature of the South African economy remains intact 20 years after the first inclusive elections. The South African economy, its transport and logistics infrastructure, is designed in such a way that anchors the exportation of natural and raw materials by way of the ocean, as opposed to regional and continental integration and potential trade. All strategic railways from South Africa’s inland mines and natural-resource reservoirs lead to the ocean. While politically liberated, South Africa remains economically neo-colonial concerning the control, ownership and orientation of the economy.
15. In May 2013, Statistics SA released the Quarterly Labour Force Survey, which indicated that, again, South Africa’s official unemployment rate is 25.2%. In simple terms, this means that more than a quarter (4.6 million) of active and employable South Africans who are diligently looking for employment opportunities cannot find jobs. Added to this, more than 2.4 million active and employable South Africans are now discouraged work-seekers, bringing the expanded (real) unemployment rate to 36.7% of the South African labour force, the highest since 2008. These levels of unemployment are, on the whole, racially defined, because white people’s levels of unemployment are far lower than the unemployment levels of the African majority.
16. Concerning real economic transformation, the post-1994 democratic state has not achieved anything substantial owing to the fact that the economic-policy direction taken in the democratic-dawn years was not about fundamental transformation, but empowerment/enrichment meant to empower what could inherently be a few black aspirant capitalists, without the real transfer of wealth to the people as a whole. Empowerment legislation, particularly Black Economic Empowerment policies and various sector-transformation charters adopted by the democratic government dismally failed to substantially and sustainably empower the majority of the population, mainly targeted groups. It is important to note that even if all the objectives of empowerment charters were reached, South Africa would still be characterised by high levels of unemployment, poverty and inequality, therefore rendering the approach taken a wild goose chase.
17. The South African government had intended to redistribute 30% of land by 2014, but in 2012 only 8% had been redistributed. The consequence of this landlessness of the majority is that blacks on farms remain slaves denied basic human rights that most people take for granted. Farm workers and labour tenants are overworked and underpaid thanks to laws made by the post-1994 government. Farm workers live in fear and insecurity because of the paternalistic relationships with land owners, who are often racist and violent. Often, farmers refuse burial rights to farm workers, with the consequence that our people are landless in life and landless when dead. Between 1994 and 2004, white farmers evicted more than 1 million farm workers from land. Evicted farm workers now populate the mushrooming squatter camps on the outskirts of townships.
18. The economic-empowerment and upliftment model adopted by the post-1994 government has predominalty been passing non-binding empowerment charters in various sectors of the economy. The majority of these charters should have reached their targets and goals by 2014, but none of these charters have reached their goals and targets and are unlikely to do so by 2014. Instead of decisively acting to correct these anomalies, the South African government has shifted the goalposts to 2030, thereby continuing to promote the policies that made South Africa fail in the first 20 years.
19. The majority of historically disadvantaged individuals who substantially and durably benefited in the past 20 years did so either because they held senior government or corporate-sector positions (through employment), did contract work with the state (tendering), got co-opted into established corporations as shareholder capitalists, or redirected funds meant for other purposes into their own pockets (corruption). There have been very few or no historically disadvantaged individuals who, in the past 20 years, engaged in real industrial and manufacturing entrepreneurship and economic development, which could have rightfully empowered them and created job opportunities for the majority of the people of South Africa.
20. Despite all these terrible conditions and realities, the post-1994 government consistently failed to define what really constitutes development. Since 1994, South Africa has misconstrued development as simply meaning the provision of free services such as houses, education, healthcare, social grants, and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). While these social-welfare aspects are vital in South Africa, they do not constitute the core of development realised by all industrialised and developed nations in the world, particularly those that realised massive economic development from the mid 20th century onwards, such as Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. These also do not reflect the core of economic development under way in Brazil, India and China. The common and irreplaceable feature of these developed and developing economies has been state-aided industrialisation, particularly of tradable sectors in manufacturing and industrialisation, i.e. the development of productive forces. This is usually buttressed by salient, yet subtle, import substitution through the protection of infant industries, tariffs, and other measures, including the insulation of agriculture and food production.
21. If the realisation and attainment of these important service-delivery measures is real development, then countries such as Cuba, with unparalleled access to healthcare, education, social welfare services, low infant mortality rates and a longer life expectancy, would be the most developed territories in the world. Cuba does not fall in the category of developed nations because the correct understanding of development, realised in the 20th-century development of Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Finland, and Taiwan is about developing manufacturing industries for domestic and global consumption. South Africa should, concurrent with the provision of essential services, pursue this kind of economic development to create sustainable jobs.
22. The post-1994 government’s naivety and the need to be seen to be doing right in the eyes of neoliberal powers, has seen South Africa adopting neoliberal policies that lowered tariffs, removed or neglected the protection of infant industries and agriculture, and lowered trade exchanges, which could have absorbed a large section of the country’s labour force. Heterodox economists have perfectly illustrated the reality that virtually all developing economies that imbibe and naturalise the neoliberal policy prescriptions of the international financial institutions (the World Bank and International Monetary Fund) have and will never realise real economic development, as witnessed in all developed economies.
23. The neoliberal policy fundamentals adopted to please the international financial institutions, which found expression in the Growth, Employment, and Redistribution (GEAR), Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative of South Africa (ASGISA), and the National Development Plan (NDP) will never solve South Africa’s development problems and will instead continue to expose it to unfair global competition, which will result in the strangling of potential economic activities in the country. The global economic crisis will also further worsen the economic conditions of South Africa, which is heavily dependent on exporting primary commodities.
24. As things stand, the following realities define South Africa and will obtain for a considerable amount of time:
a) The former liberation movement in office will never be a sustainable solution to South Africa’s developmental problems in the foreseeable future, owing to its ideological zigzags, and the open dominance of neoliberal and right-wing politics. If left unchallenged by a radical left political formation, this will give rise to and attach some sense of political legitimacy to political parties whose agenda and political programme is to continue with white supremacy and the imperialist domination of South Africa.
b) The former liberation movement’s integrity and credibility will gradually decline because it will not address the many massive developmental challenges confronting society in the current status quo. Poverty, unemployment and inequalities are worsening under the post-1994 government. This is because the former liberation movement does not welcome radical policy shifts, and is instead obsessed with protecting the interests of white monopoly capital.
c) Political parties in opposition to the former liberation movement in office oppose it on superficial issues, because all the major political formations in parliament carry the same neoliberal, capitalist and free-market programme that the incumbent government does. There is currently no real ideological and political opposition to the post-1994 government’s neoliberal policy framework, recently proven by all political parties’ adoption of the National Development Plan (NDP).
d) The Congress-aligned left-wing formations have been swallowed into reform politics of patronage and will never regain integrity to pursue real working class struggles any time soon. The organised left has been swallowed by the state, and is currently at the forefront of justifying the rapacious and callous theft of public funds by the incumbent president of the republic.
e) The trade union movement (which is supposed to defend workers’ interests) will soon be swallowed into the same politics of reform. All those who push for a radical agenda will be isolated, banished and portrayed as antigovernment. The dominant faction in the trade union movement will rid itself of progressive leaders. Despite massive and clear ideological differences, the trade union movement will once again encourage workers to vote for the current government, despite its directionlessness. Workers will again be misled and tied to their oppressors through sentiments of historical significance and blind loyalty.
f) Independent trade unions will continue to emerge and grow bigger because previously dominant unions will gradually fail to represent workers. These independent trade unions are not a political alternative, because they will only deal with workers’ interests and will make workers believe that their problems are workplace issues only.
g) The majority of people in informal settlements, townships, villages and other poor communities will disengage from mainstream politics and not vote in successive elections. This will be sure to happen if, as fighters for economic emancipation, we do not offer a real ideological and political alternative to the status quo.
h) The youth movement has been turned into a lapdog sent to repeat what the incumbent government leadership says. Puppet youth leaders will be rewarded with Cabinet posts and other perks to sustain their puppet status.
i) Victimisation of those who are suspected of being part of the political alternatives to the former liberation movement will increase, with threats of arrest, assassination and the possible manipulation of the justice system. There are many Economic Freedom Fighters in the former liberation movement, particularly on the ground, and, unfortunately, at all levels of its leadership, who will not publicly associate with real political alternatives, because they are scared of losing their jobs and income.
j) The middle class will further drift away from the former liberation movement and beef up the neoliberal alternative. They are a contested terrain and need to be engaged because they stand to benefit from the victory of economic freedom and the erosion of white supremacy.
k) Service-delivery protests will intensify and workplace stoppages in the mines and on farms will also continue in higher volumes than before, thus worsening the economic crisis South Africa is experiencing. Mine workers will become more militant and will fight struggles for their economic survival. As Economic Freedom Fighters, we should be on their side.
l) Social movements and issue-based organisations will remain on the margins of mainstream politics and only mobilise on sector-based issues, which will not relate to mainstream electoral and power politics.
m) Any form of generalised uprising will be harshly suppressed by the state machinery, in an attempt to prevent it from escalating to a level where a sitting government can be toppled.
n) The youth will become more disgruntled under the leadership of the ANC and, like in previous elections; the youth will be fed so many empty promises on education and jobs, which will never be created, because there is no radical, convincing plan on how this can be done.
o) South Africa has been turned into a kleptocracy, with government leaders openly looting state resources, pursuing self-enrichment and classifying reports and processes that seek to expose such callous behaviour. Those close to political leaders will get richer and more corrupt because they will know that, like them, they are immune from prosecution.
CHARACTER OF THE ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS:
25. These political, economic, social and ideological realities are the basis upon which the ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS is founded. The ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS is a radical and militant economic emancipation movement that brings together revolutionary, fearless, radical, and militant activists, workers’ movements, nongovernmental organisations, community-based organisations and lobby groups under the umbrella of pursuing the struggle for economic emancipation.
26. The EFF is a radical, leftist, anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist movement with an internationalist outlook anchored by popular grassroots formations and struggles. The EFF will be the vanguard of community and workers’ struggles and will always be on the side of the people. The EFF will, with determination and consistency, associate with the protest movement in South Africa and will also join in struggles that defy unjust laws.
27. The EFF takes lessons from the notation that “political power without economic emancipation is meaningless”. The movement is inspired by ideals that promote the practice of organic forms of political leadership, which appreciate that political leadership at whatever level is service, not an opportunity for self-enrichment and self-gratification.
28. 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.
29. The EFF is a South African movement with a progressive internationalist outlook, which seeks to engage with global progressive movements. 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 pillars for economic emancipation are the following:
a. Expropriation of South Africa’s land without compensation for equal redistribution in use.
b. Nationalisation of mines, banks, and other strategic sectors of the economy, without compensation.
c. Building state and government capacity, which will lead to the abolishment of tenders.
d. Free quality education, healthcare, houses, and sanitation.
e. 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.
f. Massive development of the African economy and advocating for a move from reconciliation to justice in the entire continent.
g. Open, accountable, corrupt-free government and society without fear of victimisation by state agencies.
30. The EFF appreciates the role played by the fathers and mothers of South Africa’s liberation movement. The EFF draws inspiration from the radical, working class interpretation of the Freedom Charter, because, since its adoption in 1955, there have been various meanings given to the Freedom Charter. The EFF’s interpretation of the Freedom Charter is one which says South Africa indeed belongs to all who live in it, and ownership of South Africa’s economic resources and access to opportunities should reflect that indeed South Africa belongs to all who live in it. The EFF’s interpretation of the Freedom Charter is that which says the transfer of mineral wealth beneath the soil, monopoly industries and banks means nationalisation of mines, banks and monopoly industries.
31. The EFF’s interpretation of the Freedom Charter also accepts that while the state is in command and in control of the commanding heights of South Africa’s economy, “people shall have equal rights to trade where they choose, to manufacture and to enter all trades, crafts and professions”, meaning that there will never be wholesale nationalisation and state control of every sector of South Africa’s economy. Nationalisation of strategic sectors and assets will be blended with a strong industrial policy to support social and economic development.
32. Economic Freedom Fighters will contest political power, because we are guided by the firm belief that we need political power in order to capture the state and then transform the economy for the emancipation of black South Africans, especially Africans. The forms in which the EFF contests political power will, from time to time, be reviewed in the light of prevailing circumstances, but the primary role of mass organisation and activism, as a means to raise the political consciousness of the people, will remain the bedrock of our political practice.
33. Therefore, the EFF will be involved in mass movements and community protests that seek the betterment of people’s lives. The EFF will also associate with movements that demand land through land occupation, aimed at making the message clear that our people do need land. The EFF will support all trade unions and workers that stand up in demand of better working conditions and salaries wherever and whenever they do so. The EFF will not be bound by narrow alliance loyalties that compromise the interests of workers just because they are in a different trade union. Our pursuit of the basic demands of the Freedom Charter is above forms of organisation that the working class, and indeed black people, may fashion in the course of struggles. In other words, alliances and other forms of organisation are relevant to the extent that they maximise our march towards realising the vision outlined in the Freedom Charter.
34. The EFF is guided by revolutionary internationalism and solidarity that defined the politics of the July 26 Movement, which led the Cuban Revolutionary struggles. We will partake in international struggles that seek to emancipate the economically unliberated people of Africa and the world. We will form part of the progressive movements in the world that stand against continued imperialist domination.
WHAT IS THE STRATEGIC MISSION?
35. The attainment of Economic Freedom in Our Lifetime is our strategic mission. Towards this, we have identified 7 (seven) non-negotiable cardinal pillars for economic freedom in our lifetime. These are:
a. Expropriation of South Africa’s land without compensation for equal redistribution in use.
b. Nationalisation of mines, banks, and other strategic sectors of the economy, without compensation.
c. Building state and government capacity, which will lead to the abolishment of tenders.
d. Free quality education, healthcare, houses, and sanitation.
e. 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
f. Massive development of the African economy and advocating for a move from reconciliation to justice in the entire continent.
g. Open, accountable, corrupt-free government and society without fear of victimisation by state agencies.
36. Attainment of Economic Freedom entails that multinational and private ownership of the commanding heights of the economy will be discontinued, and all economic wealth directed to the ownership and benefit of all people. This will happen through various and combined forms of common and collective ownership, ranging from State ownership and control, co-operatives and workers’ ownership and control of the key sectors of the economy. State ownership is within this context, an elementary component which will lead to more progressive forms of collective ownership, control and benefit, and therefore not narrow State-capitalism.
37. Over and above the above pillars, the EFF commits to further pillars to complement the seven. These are equally important pillars and are presented here not in order of importance and vitality, but with the recognition that they are equally important.
1) Decentralised spatial development and building new cities.
2) Public representatives using public services.
3) Reduction of benefits for public representatives.
4) Progressive internationalism.
5) The sports, arts and culture question.
6) The gender and sexuality question.
7) The immigration question.
8) Monetary and fiscal stability.
9) Priority of energy security and the environment.
10) A focus on science and Technology.
11) Support given to research, innovation and enterprise development.
12) Making one city the administrative and legislative capital of South Africa.
13) The transformation of the criminal justice system.
14) Relationship with the Security Forces.
WHAT IS TO BE DONE TOWARDS THE STRATEGIC MISSION? THE 7 CARDINAL PILLARS:
38. As a decisive way to fundamentally transform the South African economy for sustainable development, the following sectors and matters will be handled and responded to in the manner described below. All these interventions are centred on the 7 cardinal pillars for economic freedom in our lifetime. These pillars should inspire the EFF-led economic emancipation movement towards realising and consolidating economic freedom in our lifetime.
1) Expropriation of land without compensation for equitable redistribution.
39. The EFF’s approach to land expropriation without occupation is that all land should be transferred to the ownership and custodianship of the state in a similar way that all mineral and petroleum resources were transferred to the ownership and custodianship of the state through the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) of 2002. The state should, through its legislative capacity transfer all land to the state, which will administer and use land for sustainable-development purposes. This transfer should happen without compensation, and should apply to all South Africans, black and white.
40. Once the state is in control and custodianship of all land, those who are currently using the land or intend using land in the immediate will apply for land-use licences, which should be granted only when there is a purpose for the land being applied for. Those applying for licences will be granted licences for a maximum of 25 years, renewable on the basis that the land is being used as planned. The state should, within this context, hold the right to withdraw the licence and reallocate the land for public purposes.
41. State custodianship of land will mean that those who currently occupy land should apply for licensing to continue using the land and should clearly state in the application what they want to use the land for over a period of time. Under this legislation, no one should be allowed to own land forever, because those who have money can, over time, buy huge plots of land and use them for counter-developmental private purposes, such as using land as game farms. A maximum of 25 years can then be placed on all land leases applied for by private corporations and individuals, with the state retaining the right to expropriate in instances where the land is not used for the purpose applied for.
42. In line with the Freedom Charter and a new vision of agrarian revolution, the state should also provide implements and related extension services to help those who work the land to use it productively. Furthermore, the state’s procurement of food should prioritise small-scale farmers so that small-scale farming becomes a sustainable economic activity for the majority of our people. The state must buy more than 50% of the food for hospitals, prisons and schools from small-scale farmers in order to develop small-scale agriculture.
43. Food production, packaging, transportation, marketing, advertising, retail, and trade should constitute one of South Africa’s biggest economic sectors. With a growing global population, and the growing capacity of Africans to buy food, South Africa needs to produce agricultural output through provision of subsidies to small-scale farmers, and open packaging and retail opportunities for these farmers.
44. A structured state support and agricultural-protection mechanism should be applied to all food products, including beef and other meats’ production and processing. The same applies to fruit, maize, and other essential food items produced by small-scale farmers. To boost sustainable demand domestically, the South African government should pass legislation that all the food bought by government for hospitals, schools, prisons, and the like should be sourced from small-scale food producers. This in itself will create sustainable economic activity, and inspire many young people to go into food production because there will be income and financial benefits to boost other economic activities out of it. The economy of food production needs well-structured protection mechanisms and subsidies in order to protect jobs and safeguard food security. Most developed and developing nations are doing the same.
45. With a clearly defined and well-structured mechanism, South Africa, which is, oddly, a net importer of food, can realise the development of the food economy in a manner that exceeds Brazil’s. This will add sustainable job creation, not the kind of short-term jobs created through infrastructure development. This will, of course, require land reform to be expedited and water supplies to be guaranteed for the sustainability of the this important sector of the economy.
2) Nationalisation of mines, banks and other strategic sectors of the economy.
46. Owing to the character of the South African economy and the aspirations of the people for economic freedom, state ownership and control of strategic sectors of the economy should be the foundation for sustainable economic transformation in South Africa. A supposition that the South African economy can be transformed to address the massive unemployment, poverty and inequality crisis without transfer of wealth from those who currently own it to the people as a whole is illusory. The transfer of wealth from the minority should fundamentally focus on the commanding heights of the economy. This should include minerals, metals, banks, energy production, and telecommunications and retain the ownership of central transport and logistics modes such as Transnet, Sasol, Mittal Steel, Eskom, Telkom and all harbours and airports.
47. The ownership of mineral wealth should be considered through various means, prime being the expropriation of the current minerals-production processes in South Africa, and the commencement of extraction, processing and trade on new land. The ownership of minerals beneath the soil could in effect entail the discontinuation of total private ownership of production means in the production of mineral wealth in South Africa. The route towards total transfer of mineral wealth to the ownership of the people as a whole should include the creation of an efficient and impactful state-owned mining company. It will be efficient and impactful because a state-owned mining company should contribute to job creation, while being efficiently managed and administered in a manner that will raise the levels of public confidence in the capacity of the state to do business and contribute to economic development.
48. Nationalised mineral wealth will in effect constitute a very firm basis for the beneficiation of these products in both heavy and light industrial processes in South Africa, which could be left to industrial and manufacturing entrepreneurs, co-operatives and small and medium enterprises, so as to develop the productive forces of the South African economy, which is still reliant on the production of primary commodities. Instead of relying on neoliberal mechanisms to attract industrial and manufacturing investments to South Africa, such as a narrow fiscal stability, and decreased labour costs, the state, in the ownership of mineral wealth and metals, could provide incentives to reduce prices for the primary and raw commodities, which will be industrialised and beneficiated in South Africa.
49. Minerals and metals beneficiation will constitute a very firm, sustainable and labour-absorptive industrial process, which will feature both import-substituting and export-led industrialisation. Various other areas of an increased, sustainable and labour absorptive industrial process could be explored within a situation where the production of metals and minerals are nationalised for the benefit of all. Industrial and manufacturing entrepreneurs, co-operatives, and small and medium enterprises from outside and inside South Africa could then be allowed to industrialise the South African economy, with guaranteed rights, and regulated through transformation charters which will lead to skills transfer at all levels of corporations’ structures.
50. This process should conspicuously be coupled with an effective skills-development, training and education strategy, which will directly feed into a growing industrial and manufacturing process. Importantly for this process to happen, the South African liberation movement and the state should mobilise massive support of the working class, some sections of the middle class and established industrial entrepreneurs and corporations behind a consolidated national economic-developmental plan, which will address the social challenges characteristic of South African society. This is one revolution that requires support from various sections of South African society and should be understood within such a context.
51. Certainly, the nationalisation of minerals and metals might ignite international condemnation by global imperialists, institutionalised in the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and, notably, the World Trade Organisation. A broader mass movement should be mobilised in South Africa in defence of these massive economic reforms, because they constitute the core of our economic emancipation programme. Mass campaigns on what nationalisation (people and state ownership and control) of minerals, metals and other strategic sectors of the economy will entail should be conducted to garner support from the people as a whole.
52. The benefits of nationalising strategic sectors of the economy will include, but not be limited to, the following realities:
a. An increased fiscus for, and therefore more resources for, education, housing, healthcare, infrastructure development, safety and security and sustainable livelihoods for our people.
b. More jobs for our people because state-owned and controlled mines will increase the local beneficiation and industrialisation of mineral resources. This will, in turn, reduce the high levels of poverty consequent of joblessness.
c. More equitable spatial development because state-owned and controlled mines will invest in areas where mining is happening.
d. Better salaries and working conditions in mines because state-owned mines will increase the mining wage and improve compliance with occupational health and safety standards.
e. Greater levels of economic and political sovereignty, as the state will be in control and ownership of strategic sectors of the economy, which produce mineral resources needed around the world.
53. It is important to highlight that, as part of this programme, the transfer of wealth to the ownership of the people as a whole is not limited to mines only, but should necessarily extend to monopoly industries. The creation of a State Bank and the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank constitute an immediate task and essential to the development of the South African economy, as it can be progressively positioned to improve the existence of state-owned development finance institutions, in order to finance new industries. The State Bank will also provide enterprise finance, housing finance and vehicle finance for all South Africans in a manner that promotes development, not the narrow pursuit of profits.
54. The EFF-led government will establish a State Bank, which should be accompanied by the transformation of the financial sector as a whole, particularly banking and insurance industry practices and norms. Finance capital dominates the world economy and carries with it the potential to undermine all efforts to build a better life for all people. Vigilance and greater state participation in the financial sector is therefore a vital component of efforts to build a sustainable and better life for all the people of South Africa. India and China were firmly insulated from the global financial crisis because their state-owned and controlled financial sectors did not venture into the practices of private banks in the West that led to the collapse of the world economy.
55. The EFF will limit foreign ownership of strategic and monopoly sectors, where the state does not exert full ownership, in order to protect South Africa’s sovereignty and to limit the repatriation of profits, so that these can be used for the further development of our people.
3) Building state and government capacity, which will lead to the abolishment of tenders.
56. For a successful state that seeks to drive real economic and industrial development and provide better services, an inspired, skilled, and well-compensated public service is required. The public service should be strengthened for a sustainable transformation of the economy. The ethos of such a state should be developmental and very strong and, hence, consistent with anti-corruption measures. This is emphasised because the task of fundamental economic transformation requires a strong state with the ability to develop a clear strategic vision, and be able to implement and monitor the progress being made.
57. This should, essentially, be a state that has the capacity to marshal all progressive social forces in society, particularly the working class, towards developmental objectives. The state should build internal capacity to construct and maintain infrastructure such as roads, railways and dams and basic services such as schools, houses, hospitals and recreational facilities. The state’s dependence on tenders has massive political implications and often reduces the quality of work provided because of corruption and the corruptibility of the whole tendering system. In addition, the reliance on tenders limits the capacity of the state to directly industrialise the country by deliberately building value chains through direct state procurement.
58. The state’s capacity to perform these functions will entail that the public service and its servants be properly maintained, serviced and adequately remunerated at all levels. At the centre of a strong developmental state should be a motivated, inspired and well-remunerated public service that shares in the developmental vision of the country. These interventions should be coupled with an increased capacity to aggressively fight corruption and criminality within the state. The fight against corruption should not be a side issue, but a fundamental component of the state apparatus in order to increase public confidence in the state. In this context, the EFF will place a premium on strengthening the revolutionary trade union movement in the public sector, which should establish a practical and immediate bridge through which the working class exercises its power over the state apparatus.
59. A strong developmental state should necessarily have political power and technical capacity to give developmental mandates to state-owned enterprises (SOE) and private corporations. SOE and private sector compliance with the state’s developmental targets should not be voluntary, but a mandatory, crucial factor around which the state should be able to use a carrot-and-stick system to enforce. It can never be correct that the state operates only with the “hope” that the still colonial and foreign-owned, and thus unpatriotic, private sector, in particular, will voluntarily underwrite the developmental agenda and pursue the agenda of job creation, poverty reduction and sustainable development with the same vigour that should define government.
60. As concrete steps forward, which the state should initiate, establish and give strategic and financial support to, are the following:
a. A state housing-construction company.
b. A state roads-construction company.
c. A state cement company.
d. A state pharmaceutical company.
e. A state-owned mining company.
f. A state food-stocking company (to regulate prices of basic foodstuffs and guarantee food security for all).
61. These state companies will be buttressed by state ownership of critical parts of the value chains in which these companies operate, e.g. petrochemicals (Sasol), steel (Arcelor-Mittal), etc, so that they produce essential inputs into the economy on a non-profit-maximisation basis.
62. Within this context, the state will employ engineers, quantity surveyors, project managers, and builders for sustainable tasks. Their responsibilities will include the construction of houses, roads, bridges, sports facilities, dams, sewerage systems and more. These should be subjected to strict standards of quality assurance to ensure that, at all times, state-constructed entities are of good quality. State-owned companies will not be driven by principles of profit maximisation, but by the need to provide cheap and affordable services to the people and the economy at large.
4) Free quality education, healthcare, houses, and sanitation.
63. Education: Education will be free up to undergraduate level and all pupils and students will be provided with adequate learning and teacher-support materials. For successful and sustainable economic development and growth, South Africa requires a concerted focus on the attainment of skills, education and expertise in various fields. The attainment of skills should necessarily respond to the massive skills shortages that define existent industries, but the education system should also be positioned to assist with new industrial developments. The approach to realising this noble objective should include, but not be limited to, the alignment of skills to industrial sectors, the expansion of post-secondary education and training, the transformation of higher education and training and the introduction of a new scholarship system that will provide educational and training opportunities to South African youth studying outside the country so that they can return after learning more than would have been possible within South Africa’s borders.
64. The alignment of skills to industrial sectors should be done in a manner similar to the approach adopted by developed economies, but in a more focused and properly resourced model that would necessarily include the establishment of focus universities. South Africa should establish and resource sector-focused institutions of higher learning. The EFF will encourage tertiary institutions to expand and deepen their qualitative focus in terms of course offerings and research, with a view to create centres of excellence across the tertiary education spectrum. Skills, education and expertise are an important feature of sustainable industrial and economic development for any economy. The South African government, in collaboration with industrial and manufacturing investors and practitioners, should put in place industry-linked training authorities, which will train, particularly, young people for various responsibilities in new industries and factories. Various sectors, including minerals beneficiation and industrialisation (eg diamond cutting and polishing) are highly labour-absorptive sectors and a training agency should be established for this sector to supply labour to this particular sector.
65. The post-secondary education and training capacity in South Africa presently does not respond to the quantities of aspirant students produced by the general education system. General education produces close to 1 million young people annually who graduate without any hope of further education or drop out of school for varied reasons, chief among them the problem of being excluded from opportunity along with many other socioeconomic reasons in the wake of widespread inadequate teaching methodologies. These learners should be provided with opportunities for post-secondary training, education and development through mechanisms which that will include higher education institutions, further education and training colleges, support for small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMME), and various other forms of vocational training.
66. As a matter of principle, the state should build capacity at post-secondary education and training level that will put the state in a position to absorb all learners who pass their senior certificates and/or leave school from grades 10 and 11. This entails, among other things that the state should heavily invest in the qualitative and quantitative expansion of higher education institutions, FET colleges, SMME mentorship programmes and other vocational training programmes and institutions. This should necessarily be accompanied by a comprehensive strategy aimed at realising free education. A critical role will be played by state-owned enterprises, municipalities and other state agencies in absorbing and training learners from tertiary institutions.
67. In this regard, a new scholarship funded by government, state-owned enterprises and the private sector should be established to fund suitably qualified students accepted in the best universities around the world. The South African government, at various levels, is already contributing to the education and training of medical doctors and other health professionals in Cuba. This should be radically expanded to a minimum of 10 000 students sent annually to various countries to attain skills, education and expertise on different, but critical, fields by 2016. The number of students sent to the best universities around the world should be reflective of South Africa’s demographics in terms of race, gender and class. Emphasis should be placed on the fact that the students sent to the best universities should have shown capacity to make progress because they should, indeed, make progress. These students will later contribute to the country’s socioeconomic development, economy and knowledge development.
68. At all levels of the education system, pupils and students will be taught to love their country, their people and their continent and will be taught the principles of social solidarity, progressive internationalism and the pursuit of social justice. Knowledge of technical skills alone is not enough to build a country. The EFF will therefore couple technical education with progressive civic education.
69. The state should build massive capacity in healthcare, and remunerate medical practitioners in a way that attracts the best medical practitioners to the public healthcare sector. As an immediate programme, the state should regulate the cost of medicine and healthcare provision in order to prevent private hospitals from overpricing medical care, which is a basic human right. Secondly, the EFF will move with speed to set up a state pharmaceutical company to decisively intervene in the production and distribution of medicines. Thirdly, the EFF will urgently engage with doctors’ and nurses’ unions, including general staff unions that operate in the health sector, to exert working class power and control over the health system, with a view to improve the quality and quantity of health services. Issues that must be urgently addressed will include remuneration and career paths, skills development and training (especially the strengthening of nursing and other colleges), and the establishment of norms and standards for quality health services in clinics and hospitals.
70. Human Settlement and Housing: The state should, through the state housing-construction company improve the quality and size of low-cost houses. The state should further regulate housing finance through providing housing finance that does not exceed a period of 10 years. Integrated human settlement should, in the real sense, be definitive of all settlements led by the state, with guaranteed bulk services such as water provision, electricity, sewerage systems and more. House repossessions should be illegal.
71. The state, at all levels, should have the obligation to provide sanitation wherever people reside. This is a fundamental human right, which should lead to the abolishment of bucket and pit toilets.
5) 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.
72. Within the context of a state-led industrial policy, the state should protect infant industries, particularly in areas where the country does not enjoy competitive advantages. The industrialisation South Africa should adopt ought to be both export-led and import-substituting industrialisation. It is an open secret that South Africa continues to export natural resources and import virtually all finished goods and services. South Africa’s 10 biggest exports to China are natural and raw materials while our imports from China are finished goods and services. This should change and internal capacity must be built, in collaboration with established industrial and manufacturing corporations, in order to locally manufacture the goods and services we currently import from other economies. This will lead to industrial and manufacturing investments by corporations that manufacture the goods and services we currently import, further building internal skills capacity to expand on these areas.
73. In all other industries, the state should introduce, through legislation, minimum wages, which will better the living conditions of the people. The areas that need immediate focus include, but are not limited to mine workers, farm workers, private security guards, domestic workers, cleaners, petrol attendants, waiters and waitresses, and Retail stores workers. The approach should also lead to the abolishment of Labour Brokers.
74. South Africa’s inequalities are, among other things, a result of the wage gap between top managers and ordinary workers. This, therefore, means that levels of underemployment are at a crisis level because an absolute majority of workers are not adequately remunerated. This should change, and, as an immediate programme and plan, a set of minimum wages on all sectors of the South African economy should be enacted into laws, binding all sectors. The EFF rejects the orthodoxy that minimum wages cause unemployment. We believe that minimum wages are a primary instrument against poverty, serve to lift domestic demand for domestic goods and services, and are one of the important tools through which the people of South Africa will share in the country’s wealth.
75. Economic Freedom Fighters will fight not through boardrooms and media statements but through mass-based campaigns in support of organised workers, for establishing minimum wages in all the critical sectors of the South African economy and society as a means of bettering many people’s lives. By fighting for increases in minimum wages, the EFF will organise and play a leading role in the struggles of workers in various sectors, with the minimum demands of adequate minimum wages, and better working conditions.
76. The EFF will also call for legislation on incomes policy, including regulation of the pay of chief executive officers, directors, chief financial officers and managers in all sectors of the economy. Laws should be passed that executive pay should be a certain proportion of the wages of the lowest paid workers in respective firms, as one way of dealing with obscene levels of income inequality.
77. We need to talk about the recruitment and promotion of Africans in the workplace, and the opportunities for workers to move up the career ladder through opening up access to tertiary institutions so that workers with experience can benefit. In this regard, we need to refer to employment equity reports.
6) Massive investment in the development of the African economy
78. The South African state’s capacity to do big business should be expanded to the African continent. State-owned enterprises should heavily invest in the infrastructure and industrial development of the African continent. This should be markedly distinct from the manner in which the Western Powers (the US and European Union) and China do business in Africa. Investment by Transnet in the continent should leave massive footprints concerning skills transfer, the development of the communities where investments happen, the payment of tax, reinvestments, corporate social investment, safety standards, compliance with labour laws and regulations and the fundamental economic development of these countries.
79. South Africa’s established state-owned enterprises and semi-owned parastatals, such as SAA, the Airports Company of South Africa, Eskom, Telkom, Denel, Safcol and other public entities such as the SABC, Infranco and Sentech should begin to invest in the development of the African continent. While avoiding adventurism, these investments should not be driven by the narrow pursuit of profit maximisation, but the need to develop Africa’s infrastructure, logistics, systems and communications in a manner that will transfer skills and create sustainable employment opportunities for many people in the continent, thus contributing to development.
80. The development of the African continent is inextricably linked with the development of South Africa. No amount of sustainable socioeconomic development and stability will be realised in South Africa unless the state plays in active role in the economic development of the African continent. This, obviously, should include the development of trade corridors that link up the entire African continent and create capacity to consume goods and services produced on the continent.
81. In this context, South Africa’s role in the economic development of the African continent should not be that of being merely a gateway to Africa’s natural resources and raw materials for bigger and more rapidly developing economies. South Africa should inspire countries in the African continent to maximise socioeconomic benefits from their natural resources and raw materials, as part of realising economic freedom for the African people. This should not be a rhetorical role, but a concrete guided programme, which should include South African state-owned enterprises expanding to other parts of Africa with the sole aim of uplifting the respective countries’ economies.
82. Owing to surpluses and many sustainable-developmental considerations that will be generated as a result of the South African state’s control and ownership of strategic sectors of the economy, government should establish a sovereign wealth fund, which will prudently invest in the development of the African economy. This fund will also assist in the insulation of the South African economy whenever there are volatilities in resource-sector prices and when nonrenewable resources are exhausted. Most countries, including China, the US, Saudi Arabia, Norway, Libya, Nigeria, Chile, France and many others, have sovereign wealth funds for these purposes. As we speak, despite massive resource riches, South Africa has no sovereign wealth fund, mainly because South Africans do not own their resources.
83. Economic Justice: The question of economic justice is fundamental to the political programme of the Economic Freedom Fighters in South Africa and should be promoted actively in the African continent. This includes the regulation and abolishment of foreign control and ownership of strategic sectors of the economy in South Africa and the African continent. The EFF political programme should deliberately provide ideological, political and economic support to countries that seek to discontinue foreign control in order to take ownership of their own economic resources within the context of providing assistance where there is difficulty.
7) Open, accountable, corrupt-free government and society without fear of victimisation by state agencies.
84. The current political system is designed to exclude the people from participating in decision making. South Africa’s electoral systems are controlled by money, secrecy and power. All political parties refuse to disclose their financial backers, despite the millions they get from parliament. It is a crying shame that in the 21st century we are presided over by an elite system of power where only 400 members of the national assembly govern over 50 million people. The EFF shall agitate for the transfer of power to the people and make democracy real for the majority.
85. All political parties should be obliged by law to publicly disclose their sources of funds in order to avoid political coup d’états financed by greedy multinational corporations and criminal associations that seek to have access to South Africa’s resources. If political parties are interested in managing so many mineral resources and so much wealth in South Africa, they should be interested in disclosing their sources of funding.
86. State agencies should have the necessary relative autonomy, which will rid them from micromanagement and manipulation by politicians. Heads of the National Prosecuting Authority, the Public Protector, the national police commissioner, and all Chapter 9 institutions should be appointed by a joint merit-based process that involves the executive, parliament and judiciary, and not be appointed by a president who can use his or her capacity to appoint in order to manipulate those appointed.
87. On contentious issues of national interest, such as going to war, the state should design a quicker, more efficient system to use recurrent referenda to gauge public opinion and sentiments on what the country needs to do.
1. DECENTRALISED SPATIAL DEVELOPMENT AND BUILDING NEW CITIES:
88. South Africa needs a countrywide spatial development framework that should decentralise development. South Africa’s population should be proportionately spread across the length and breadth of the country through maximising each region and province’s areas of economic-development potential. The National Spatial Development Perspective (NSDP) developed by government’s Policy Coordination and Advisory Services makes correct observations about South Africa’s spatial economy, including the fact that “26 locations represent the engines of the South African economy, home to 77% of all people living under minimum living level in the country, 84% of the total population and generating 95% of the national Gross Value Added (GVA)” (NSDP, 2006).
89. With these observations, the NSDP envisions focused growth and employment in areas where it is effective and sustainable. NSDP principles, in localities with low development potential, aim to focus government spending on providing social transfers, human resource development and labour market intelligence, which would enable people to make choices: to become more mobile and migrate to localities that are more likely to provide sustainable employment or other economic opportunities, (NSDP, 2006). While this might be a correct intervention, there should be consideration for creating incentivised Industrial Development Zones (IDZs) to spread out development and economic opportunities to localities that have high levels of poverty and unemployment.
90. For instance, Limpopo has a poverty rate of 77% (HSRC, 2004), and an unemployment rate (using the expanded definition) of 51.5% (Stats SA Labour Force Survey, 2006). Limpopo is home to reserves of various mineral wealth, and a deliberate developmental strategy could be enacted along these lines. With such rates of poverty and unemployment, it could not be wrong for government to provide incentives, through the labour-absorptive production and beneficiation processing of minerals. These are some considerations, which require a detailed assessment and consideration in order to alter the spatial economy. Agroprocessing is one area that needs specific attention and could lead to the creation of quality sustainable employment.
91. Rural development should not be confined to maintaining the rurality of rural areas. It should, instead, aim to abolish rural and town distinctions. To this end, the department of land reform and rural development should be called the department of rural industrialisation and urbanisation and work closely with other government departments to uplift the economies of rural areas. As part of addressing the industrial development of rural areas, the state should identify and concurrently run industrial development zones in the following areas of economic potential over the next five (2014 to 2019) years and build state-subsidised and incentivised cities alongside the IDZs for an additional 10 years, beginning in 2014:
a. Sekhukhune in Limpopo
b. Bojanala in North West
c. Kuruman in the Northern Cape
d. Welkom in the Free State
e. Emalahleni (Witbank) in Mpumalanga
f. Overberg in the Western Cape
g. East London and Coega in the Eastern Cape
h. Far-northern KwaZulu-Natal – linked to Kosi Bay
92. These new Industrial Development Zones will be linked to the industrial development zones in East London, Eastern Cape and Richards Bay in KwaZulu-Natal, concerning transport infrastructure. For instance, the Sekhukhune Industrial Development Zone should be anchored on minerals-beneficiation and agro-processing from across the Limpopo province. The immediate question will obviously be where the state might get the resources and energy required to run these concurrent Industrial Development Zones. The taxes generated in these areas should be re-invested in these communities and a substantial amount of resources held by the country’s development finance institutions should be spent on these IDZs. This will result in more equitable spatial development and a sensible population distribution across provinces.
93. The Industrial Development Zones should also be accompanied by clear plans to turn these areas into cities, with the necessary amenities and services that define cities. The development of the Chinese economy has illustrated that cities can be consciously created, and South Africa should learn this noble lesson and begin to invest in the creation of cities in the identified areas. This will in effect lead to the abolishment of the apartheid-instituted migrant-labour system and the eradication of slums in bigger cities, because the population will be proportionately spread across the country. Instances of socioeconomic migration will also be reduced because all people will be presented with opportunities to work where they live.
94. The state should work to ensure that the economic infrastructure of overpopulated centres of economic development are maintained and expanded, while progressively introducing disincentives for completely new industries in these areas. This should, in turn, be accompanied by greater incentives in identified areas of economic development in order to drive industrial and broadly economic development to new centres of economic development. The overpopulation of Gauteng, for instance, is economically unsustainable owing to the reality that the infrastructure that supports economic development and growth in Gauteng is already bloated and will eventually slow down economic activity, development and growth.
2. PUBLIC REPRESENTATIVES USING PUBLIC SERVICES.
95. As a broad and cogent principle, the EFF’s approach to public representatives (those occupying political office through elections) is that because they are there on the mandate of the people to serve, the many perks associated with political office should be limited. Representatives should live like ordinary people. Because they are responsible for the allocation of resources, and the implementation and monitoring of services, public representatives and their dependants should be compelled, by law, to use only public services, particularly schools and healthcare facilities and services. This should apply to all public representatives from the president of the republic to a local municipal councillor.
3. REDUCTION OF COSTS ON PUBLIC REPRESENTATIVES
96. The manner in which the state is currently structured with regards to benefits and perks given to elected representatives is not only costly, but unethical in that it leads to a social distance between the people and representatives. As a matter of principle and decisive intervention, the EFF advocates for public representation that is not defined by unnecessary luxuries and benefits, most of which costs the state unnecessary and very costly sums of money.
97. To decidedly address this question, the EFF will advocate for a policy position that will lead to representatives not being bought cars by the state, and not being bought houses either. The amount of money the state spends on representatives’ personal conditions and upliftment is in no way justifiable. As public representatives with salaries, ministers, MECs and councillors should use their own cars and stay in their own houses, paid for by the salaries they are given by the state.
4. PROGRESSIVE INTERNATIONALISM
98. The EFF’s internationalism is premised on building solidarity and working relationships with all movements in the world that identify ideologically with anti-capitalism and anti-imperialism. In this regard, the EFF will ideologically and politically support movements that seek the economic decolonisation of the African continent. The EFF will also advocate for free trade across the entire African continent, with common tariffs for goods and services from country to country.
99. The EFF will also advocate for the ultimate integration of the African continent through the erosion and eventual elimination of unnecessary borders, which, in the case of South Africa will entail the Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland borders in a manner that involves and includes the participation and approval of those countries. This will also be encouraged in other parts of the African continent.
100. The EFF will also advocate for common infrastructure for transportation (roads, railways, harbours, etc), electricity, and water. Africa should use its resources to benefit all the people of the African continent in a manner that will lead to collective upliftment.
5. SPORTS, ARTS AND CULTURE
101. Sports, arts and culture constitute an elementary component of the character and nature of any society. As things stand, South Africa is influenced too greatly by excessive amounts of Western cultural and artistic propaganda, which altogether turns South Africa into an artistic and cultural extension of the West, particularly the US and the UK.
102. The EFF will cultivate a culture of embracing African culture and arts and will do that practically by creating spaces for local artistic and cultural expression. Community radio, community television, community newspapers, and local theatres should constitute a hallmark of spaces for artistic and cultural expression by the people of South Africa. This does not mean the people of South Africa should not learn from other cultures and traditions, but they should also have space to express themselves in their country’s spaces.
103. The spaces for artistic and cultural expression should also be enhanced through increasing local content in television and radio broadcasting to a minimum of 60%. Local content will therefore be used to guide the quality and extent upon which local artists and cultural practitioners will express themselves.
104. Sports participation should be compulsory in all schools and should be underpinned by sports diversification, particularly in schools where the majority of pupils and students are Africans. The governmental departments of sports should dedicate resources to training, in various sports codes, trainers and coaches who will be placed in schools on a full-time basis to train pupils in different sporting codes.
6. GENDER AND SEXUALITY QUESTION:
105. The EFF is against the oppression of anyone based on their gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation, meaning that we are against patriarchy, sexism, and homophobia in all of its manifestations. We are also against tribalism and religious and cultural intolerance. We oppose any cultural or religious practices that promote the oppression of anyone, especially groups that have been historically oppressed by such practices.
106. The EFF would strive to realise women’s liberation, through a variety of interventions, from education against patriarchy and sexism, to legislation and the close monitoring of the implementation of the same in order to realise women’s empowerment in society, the family and the workplace. The EFF believes that gender-based violence and related antisocial activities are reinforced and even sustained by the deplorable conditions of our people, therefore a key to female emancipation is the emancipation of all. The EFF will emphasise transforming the lives of our people in the ghettos from one of generalised structural violence as a mechanism to end all violence, including violence against women.
7. IMMIGRATION QUESTION:
107. The EFF will take up the struggles of all immigrants (most of whom are economic migrants and asylum seekers) in South Africa, whether they are in the country legally or illegally. The manner in which immigrants from Africa are treated by the police, government and our communities is less than desirable. Many of these immigrants are denied medical care, are discriminated against even by the police, are refused basic human services, and are even refused burial rights in our cemeteries.
108. How sub-human can we ever be when we even deny our African brothers and sisters burial rights in South Africa, because transporting their loved ones back to their countries is too expensive? We need to take a firm stance on the protection of the rights of immigrants. Certain basic rights cannot be denied to any human being who is in South Africa, whether they are in possession of certain documents or not.
109. Basic rights that should be guaranteed include access to health, access to education for children, protection from super-exploitation by employers, and access to burial rights in South Africa. The processes of applying for naturalisation should also not be complicated because, all over the world, it is generally accepted that people will migrate and can choose to stay in the country in which they are residing for economic, social, and political reasons. It cannot be correct that South Africa criminalises those who seek naturalisation.
8. MONETARY AND FISCAL QUESTION:
110. Monetary policies should therefore be aligned to the objectives of building a labour-absorptive industrial economy. The strength of the South African currency and inflation rates should be aligned with the 7 cardinal pillars of economic freedom in our lifetime, particularly the feature of local beneficiation and industrialisation of raw materials. This is important to highlight because the discussion about the strength of the currency and discussions about inflation targeting are somewhat linked to the dominant sectors of the South African economy.
9. ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT:
111. Stabilisation of energy sources, in particular the supply of electricity, is important for an economic-development strategy that will include the development of more industries. While the South African state should intensify the efforts currently in place for sustainable, consistent energy provision, other means of energy generation should be explored. This includes further research on how energy derived from uranium can be safely transferred into sustainable, environmentally friendly electricity for industrial development, public purposes and use by households.
112. The principle on energy is that green energy sources should be pursued and the state should heavily invest in green energy corporations, which will explore, manufacture and install green energy alternatives in the whole of South Africa.
10. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
113. The EFF will advocate for and implement programmes that seek to use science and technology as contributors to sustainable livelihoods. The dissemination of information, education and democratic participation should be enhanced and harnessed through technological developments and capacity.
114. The EFF will advocate for and implement the construction of a High Technological Institute, which will teach young South Africans innovation and research on technology with the aim of innovating technological instruments and gadgets in South Africa.
115. The industrial policy on science and technology should speak to heavily supporting, promoting and protecting technological innovations that are made in South Africa. Before these innovations are developed, South Africa should attract technological and electronic-gadget manufacturers to manufacture their goods and services in South Africa in order to transfer skills and expertise.
116. Government and the private sector should channel funds to investments in broadband infrastructure in order to increase internet, radio and television interconnectivity that will enhance access to useful information and data needed for intellectual, social, political and economic development.
11. ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT AND FINANCE.
117. The manner in which South Africa finances and provides support to small and medium-sized enterprises, most of which have the potential to grow, is not adequate. The EFF will develop a model that will provide sustainable enterprise finance and development without requiring sureties from previously disadvantaged individuals and youth, who do not own anything as surety, but have workable and bright ideas and innovations that can make business sense.
118. Providing enterprise finance is inherently risky, but the state cannot operate in the same way in which private banks operate. The state should always know that, in the process of giving enterprise finance and support, it might win or lose, but such support cannot be curtailed by demanding sureties, which an absolute majority of entrepreneurs do not have.
119. Instead of demanding sureties from previously disadvantaged and youth entrepreneurs, development finance institutions should allocate each funded business an accountant who will authorise or decline procurement for the infant enterprise, with a set of rules in order to avoid unjustifiable wastage of development finances. There are currently many graduates who are unemployed owing to not completing their accounting degrees or being underemployed by banks who can be redirected to support such enterprises. This will give rise to genuine youth entrepreneurship and innovation without undue worries about enterprise finance.
120. Street Hawkers should be allocated trading infrastructure in all Cities by Municipalities. Police harassments and dispossession of the goods traded by Hawkers should be illegalised, as these are people who sustain their lives through selling basic goods and services.
12. ONE CITY AS AN ADMINISTRATIVE AND LEGISLATIVE CAPITAL OF SOUTH AFRICA:
121. South Africa’s current system of having the legislative capital (with the national parliament) in Cape Town and the administrative capital in Tshwane is wasteful of time and resources, which could be used for developmental purposes. The EFF pursues a position that both the legislative and administrative capital should be in one city, which should be Tshwane, because of its accessibility. Public representatives will, in this one capital, have adequate time to address issues of their responsibility, not having to travel almost every day.
13. TRANSFORMATION OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL-SERVICES SYSTEM
122. South Africa needs to transform the criminal justice system to be more accessible and also representative of South African demographics. Access to high courts and all other courts should not be the privilege of those with money. Economic justice courts should also be established to adjudicate over civil matters involving individuals and corporations in order to acquire maximum justice for those who are not treated lawfully by corporations. Private corporations that fix prices and collude should be banned from operating in South Africa and their directors should be prosecuted for doing so.
123. The correctional services system should also be corrective, not punitive. The levels of re-arrests in South Africa are very high, because the country’s correctional services system is not corrective. The correctional services system should be transformed to include compulsory education and skilling for all prisoners. This should be followed by scrapping the criminal record statuses of ex-convicts who were convicted of certain schedules of crime, depending on the seriousness of the crimes committed.
14. RELATIONSHIP TO THE SECURITY FORCES:
124. Because the policies the Economic Freedom Fighters advocate for are radical economic policy positions, which might cause imperialist backlash, we need to build strategic and working relationships with the cohesive components of the state, particularly the military and the police. We should, through our engagement, inculcate a sense of patriotism and loyalty to the country and the people of South Africa, not loyalty to politicians and political offices. There are many issues that South Africa’s security forces are confronted with, which require the attention of the EFF. Soldiers and the police are not our enemy, our enemy is white monopoly capital and their political co-optees.
WHO STANDS TO BENEFIT?
125. The working class, South Africans who do not own the means of production, the dejected masses, the homeless, hopeless youth, the rural and urban poor, the informal settlement dwellers, the unemployed and underemployed population, the discriminated and undermined professionals of all races, constitute the core component of those Economic Freedom Fighters seek to emancipate from economic and social subjugation and oppression. EFF characterisation of South Africa is that it is racialised capitalism, which historically and currently placing the black majority, and Africans in particular at the lower end of society.
126. South Africa is not two nations; it is one capitalist country whose racialised capitalism places certain racial groupings at certain points of production within the capitalist system. Within basic common sense, revealed in Marxist-Leninist characterisation of the State and capitalist class divisions, a capitalist economy like South Africa’s is inevitably dependent on exploitation of poor labourers whose survival is dependent on selling their labour to capitalists. By design, a capitalist system will inherently have inequalities and divisions that come as a result of labour exploitation. Whilst acting neutral, the State will be nothing but an expression of the interest of the dominant or ruling class (Lenin, 1917). It is therefore double-vision to see the single unequal South African economy as two systems.
127. Racial legislations were enacted to harness and enhance capitalist exploitation on the non-white population under colonial and apartheid domination, and the post 1994 government only abolished the legislations, but has not abolished the massive inequalities created by these legislations and discriminatory practices of the past. Because of lack of a clear political determination to break the neo-liberal, neo-liberal development path, it is correct to say that the inequalities, poverty and unemployment in South Africa are not simply inherited from apartheid, but being reproduced from apartheid by the post 1994 government.
128. In general, the rest of South Africa, Africa and the world stands to benefit because the success of the struggle for economic freedom will result in an industrially developed South Africa with massive technological and science capabilities to resolve many world problems. The struggle for economic freedom will culminate in a South Africa that is playing a progressive role in the development and upliftment of economically oppressed territories in the African continent and the world.
1. THE AFRICAN WORKING CLASS.
129. Due to their location in society and history, the African working class constitute the core of those Economic Freedom Fighters seek to emancipate from economic subjugation and oppression. The African working class suffered and continue to suffer excessive levels of oppression and exploitation as Mineworkers, Farm workers, underpaid Domestic workers, Petrol Attendants, Private Security Guards, and constitute the large pool of reserve labourers as they are unemployment. Unemployment amongst the African working class is biggest as compared to other components of the working class.
130. The employed professionals amongst the working class are separated from absolute poverty through constant salaries and often encountered with discriminatory practices in their workplaces. They stand to objectively benefit from the struggle for economic freedom because they will have better access to mortgage and vehicle finances under a financial system that is progressive and takes note of the redress obligation. The professionals and small scale entrepreneurs also stand to objectively benefit because economic freedom struggle will guarantee them access to workable development finance and enterprise support, which will not be based on Sureties, which they do not have
131. It therefore becomes the primary role of the EFF to organise the both the unemployed and employed working class, those who do not own the means of production, into mainstream political and class organisation of the Economic Freedom Fighters. In this context, the African working class constitute the core of the motive forces (forces that drive revolutionary motion) for radical change, because they stand to benefit from the struggle for economic freedom in our lifetime.
2. THE COLOURED WORKING CLASS.
132. The Coloured working class has often and recurrently been treated with disdain and isolation under apartheid repression and by the post 1994 government. The Coloured working class is often and recurrently treated as voting fodder by all the existing political parties. The only prominent moments where the post 1994 government in all provinces, including the Western Cape deal with the Coloured community is when they are dealing with the drug, alcohol and gang problems. EFF should mobilise the Coloured working class as a core of the revolutionary motive forces that should drive change for economic freedom in our lifetime.
133. The EFF’s approach to the Coloured question should be that all the affirmative action legislations that apply to the African majority should apply to the Coloured population. EFF should also take up practical revolutionary programme that seek to guarantee adequate fishing rights of the Coloured population in areas where they do fishing, particularly in the Western Cape. Large Co-operatives and private fishing corporations around the Coloured community should be organised and financed to help with real integration in the fishing economy.
134. Certain practices that the Coloured population is subjected to in the Wine farms, such as payment through alcohol, should be abolished. The Wine farms in the Cape should be expropriated and redistributed to the Farm workers who will directly benefit from large scale Wine production and trade in a manner that will have sustainable financial rewards to the Farm workers.
3. THE INDIAN/ASIAN WORKING CLASS.
135. The Indian/Asian working class is largely constituted of peasant traders who own small shops and medium shops and enterprises. Their oppression and exploitation is relatively not at the same level as the oppression and exploitation of the African and Coloured working class in South Africa. The question of their inclusion on the affirmative action and empowerment legislations is one that needs thorough reflection and consideration with the view of establishing whether as a group, the Indian population should continue to be classified as a historically disadvantaged population and group.
136. Statistically, the extent of economic exclusion and unemployment amongst the Indian population is far lower than that of the African and Coloured population. There should be conscious mobilisation of the Indian/Asian working class in the struggle for economic freedom in our lifetime, which will guarantee this important sector of South Africa access to opportunities and constituencies that they should interact with for sustainable trade.
4. THE WHITE WORKING CLASS.
137. The white working class is quantitatively minimal in South Africa, and they do not face the harsh realities of colonial and apartheid exclusion and economic subjugation that define all other sectors of the South African population. Those who do not own land and the means of production within the white population should be made aware that they also stand to objectively benefit from the success of the struggle for economic freedom in our lifetime. The struggle for economic freedom in not a struggle against white people, but a struggle for the emancipation of the working class and for equal benefit of those who are not benefiting from the current economic realities.
138. THESE FREEDOMS WE WILL FIGHT FOR, SIDE BY SIDE, THROUGHOUT OUR LIVES, UNTIL WE HAVE WON OUR (ECONOMIC) LIBERTY. It is through implementation of the 7 cardinal pillars that the South African economy will be effectively transformed in a manner that will uplift the living conditions of the majority of our people. The whole of society should be mobilised behind these pillars and be assured that victory is certain. 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.