Former ANC Youth League (ANCYL) president Julius Malema’s new Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party will soon open an Eastern Cape office in East London.
This was confirmed this week by EFF’s provincial convener Phumza Ntobongwana. “We plan to open the office around September, after we have received clearance from the IEC,” Ntobongwana said.
There are no plans in sight for a Grahamstown office, however, as the new party still has to elect its provincial executive members. “Campaigns for the province are still yet to be confirmed,” said Ntobongwana.
Local politicians and activists said the impact of the new parties such as EFF and Agang (launched by Mamphela Ramphele in June) would be minimal in the Eastern Cape.
Ayanda Kota of social justice group the Unemployed People’s Movement said: “While we can’t deny that since 1994 the government has only brought cosmetic changes to unemployment and inequality, we would be naïve in thinking that the EFF can bring about change in South Africa.”
He believes that change can only come through struggle, not policy documents that gather dust on shelves. “They don’t have a history,” Kota said, “they have never struggled for housing, sanitation, gender-based discrimination or farm evictions. “The likes of Malema that pocketed Limpopo province will not bring socialism to South Africa, only state capitalism.”
Local ANCYL leader Mtutuzeli Matyhumza also doesn’t feel that the EFF will make waves. “We do not see the EFF as any form of a threat. I don’t think the ANC will lose any support to these new parties (EFF and Agang),” he told Grocott’s Mail. “The ANC in Grahamstown will not be making any efforts to counter-campaign the efforts of the EFF in the province.”