By Julius Malema, 2013-10-23 12:44
Economic Freedom Fighters is a registered political party and will be contesting the general elections for the first time in 2014. By the look of things and the developments that have characterised the growth, vibrancy, and purposefulness that defined this economic emancipation movement in less than three months of its formation, EFF will be a force to be reckoned with. This is because the vision and programmes EFF presents to the people of South Africa are noble, unique and constitute a developmental vision which will lead to upliftment, economic justice, and therefore peace for all.
The uniqueness of EFF’s political and economic programme arises out of the fact that for the very first time in the history of South Africa’s inclusive political party elections, there is now a political party whose main aim is industrial and economic development. All the existing political parties contest elections on promises of social welfare issues such as houses, education, healthcare, social grants, etc. All political parties (covertly or overtly) uphold a neo-liberal approach to economic policy, thus exposing all sectors of our economy, including agriculture to unfair competition. EFF is the first and currently the only political party which has tangible economic aspirations and vision for South Africa, which will certainly be buttressed by quality social welfare services which are currently being under-provided by the ANC and DA governments in various spheres of governance.
Vision to develop South Africa
The EFF’s vision is that the industrial and economic development of our nation will be counted amongst the Now Developed Countries (NDCs) in the world within the 20 years post 2014. Our vision is to develop South Africa to be on the cutting edge of technological production and innovation – cutting edge industries, growth and development of science and technology which seek to improve the living conditions of our people. Our vision is to guarantee food security for all South Africans, Africans and all people of the world. Our vision is to create sustainable jobs for all people in South Africa, Southern Africa and the African continent as a whole. This will bring total stability, reduce crime, and make sure that we all contribute meaningfully for generations to come.
To achieve industrial development which will in turn develop the whole of society is not a far-fetched dream. The countries that realised real economic and industrial development post World War II, in particular South Korea, realised massive industrial and economic development amidst many doubting Thomases who said it will never happen. Because of a clear industrial development plan, South Korea, which in 1970 had a GDP and literacy rate weaker and lesser than South Africa respectively, is a force to be reckoned with in the world economy. South Korea is today home to one of the leading and most innovative electronics company, Samsung, because the country’s leadership had a vision. South Korea is not more resource-rich than South Africa, but it has exceedingly overtaken South Africa in terms of everything developmental, including sustainable provision of social welfare services and goods.
South Africa can be better than South Korean, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and even better than the early industrial countries such as Britain because South Africa has massive natural resources. South Africa is a rich country, but its citizens are poor. The people of South Africa are poor because wealth redistribution internally is skewed, and foreign and multinational corporations are draining our country of its resources without recognisable socio-economic benefit. With our minerals, land, and strategic location we can grow South Africa to be the best in the world.
For South Africa to achieve all these noble aspirations, certain things should be done to redress the imbalances of the past. Central amongst the things that are sine qua non (pre-requisite) of a sustainable developmental vision and programme for South Africa is equal redistribution of land. Currently, land ownership in South Africa is terribly skewed. The skewed ownership and control of arable land in South Africa is not only a black and white issue (which it vividly appears to be), but an intra-white unequal reality where less than 2% of the white population are in ownership and control of vast tracts of South Africa’s land. So we still have millions of white South Africans that still do not own the land, because it is owned by a few white individuals. Without equitable access to land, we cannot and will not be able to develop the South African economy. Even for technological expansion and innovation we need land.
So we need to centralise land ownership and control and lease to individuals who will successfully and productively use the land. It does not make sense that now the State should spend billions of Rands, which could be used for many other things to buy the land from the few individuals. It is a known historical fact that none of the people who occupy large tracts of land today acquired it legitimately. For historical and current justice, land should be centrally owned and controlled by a democratically elected government and leased to those who need to use it productively. The State should never be in the business of buying land, particularly when such land is needed for public purposes such as construction of schools, roads, clinics and many other commonly useful services.
For South Africa to realise real and sustainable economic development, it should have a greater degree of ownership and control of its mineral resources, particularly the Platinum Group Metals, which are minerals of the future. With these minerals, South Africa should then build adequate capacity to beneficiate and industrialise these minerals. Industrial development has many positive spill effects in other sectors of the economy, particularly banking and finance, housing development, retail, travel, and many other services. This will in turn create millions of sustainable job and entrepreneurial opportunities for all the people.
Nationalisation of mines
EFF’s call for nationalisation of mines stems out of this vision because it is practically impossible to beneficiate and industrialise minerals that are in the ownership and control of multinational corporations. We need to retain all ownership and control of mineral resources so that we can develop mechanisms to locally beneficiate and industrialise these minerals. Such will lead to the development not only of the economy in real GDP terms, but to the development of Mining communities into new zones of economic development and therefore viable cities. With the current trends of socio-economic migration and slow pace of economic development, what will happen is continued congestion of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, whereas other areas such as Sekhukhune, Rustenburg, Kuruman, Lephalale, East London, Emalahleni and many others can be made viable and sustainable cities.
Industrial development will in the future need high levels of skills, expertise and education for all those involved in high level research and development. This is why one of the 7 non-negotiable pillars for economic freedom is provision of free quality education. Within this pillar, EFF plans to use the available resources to send a minimum of 10 000 students (black and white) to the best Universities in world every year. Through this, we will have a future of educated, highly trained and knowledgeable South Africans with adequate research and development capacity to innovate solutions of the future. We then need State ownership and control of our mineral resources to realise these objectives.
EFF’s commitment to these noble, achievable and tangible economic objectives does not prevent us from developing a concrete social welfare programme. In actual fact, thoroughgoing economic transformation will enhance and harness socio-economic progress for all South Africans, with access to quality healthcare, housing, sanitation and many other basic services. This will require adequate State capacity at all levels. EFF advocates for a strong State with capacity to perform and fulfil its own functions without over-dependence on consultants and contractors, who in most instances remain the empowered entities with no empowered communities due to the quality of services they provide.
Join hands in fighting poverty
EFF’s commitment to the development of African economy is not a mistake, because we are fully aware that South Africa cannot and should not be an island of industrial and economic development in ocean of African underdevelopment. Under EFF government, South Africa should play a leading role in the development of the African economy to create sustainable jobs and future for all. The struggle against corruption and for accountability should underpin this cogent and clear programme towards economic freedom in our lifetime.
EFF’s economic programme is not a programme for a single race, but a programme for all South Africans. We need to join hands in fighting the scourge of poverty, inequalities and starvation of particularly the Africans because they are the most affected. All South Africans should join hands and appreciate that for sustainable peace, less crime, and guaranteed stability; we all need economic emancipation, which is simply based on the need to share equitably in South Africa’s economic resources. False alarms of what EFF stands for should not be entertained, because they serve to divide our country on the basis of wrong perceptions. What EFF stand for is economic freedom in our lifetime and economic freedom in our lifetime is for all South Africans, black and white.
No surrender! No Retreat!
Source: Malema’s FB Timeline