By Mayibongwe Maqhina, 21 April 2014

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are hoping to obtain more than 10 seats in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature in the upcoming elections on May 7.

“We are clear that it will be a failure if we get less than 10 members into the provincial legislature.

“We want [more than 10 MPLs] to ensure that we become the decision-making force in the running of affairs in government, not just an opposition,” EFF provincial command team member Phillip Mhlongo said.

If the EFF’s target is anything to go by, it is set to compete with the IFP and NFP, which are both destined to contest for the second position as the ANC is guaranteed to win the provincial elections.

But the somewhat low-key EFF election campaign in KZN has left much to be desired and it is unlikely to achieve the hoped-for results.

While Mhlongo said their campaign was going well he acknowledged it took a bit of time for the leadership to tighten up the administrative machinery for the organisation which recently secured offices for the provincial command team in Musgrave, Durban, after previously operating in the CBD.

“Despite those challenges we are able to touch each and every corner of the province,” he said. “We are everywhere.”

The party’s election campaign will be intensified this week with party leader Julius Malema’s visit culminating in a rally on April 27.

Malema was last in the province for door-to-door campaign in Umlazi and also a meeting with IFP leaders, including Mangosuthu Buthelezi, in a bid to create a working relationship between the two parties.

Mhlongo said his party was making inroads among the poor, squatter camps, and the disillusioned middle class.

He added that the EFF was also penetrating rural areas with some traditional leaders asking that their communities be addressed by the EFF.

“It tells us our people are highly in need of EFF.”

Mhlongo named uMlazi, KwaMashu and Inanda in Durban as some of the areas EFF was making its presence felt as well as the rural areas of Empangeni, Uthungulu District and Greytown, among others.

“Our strength is in the overwhelming support we get from the traditional ANC support base. Our people have come to a realisation that nostalgia can’t be a voting pattern.”

Mhlongo said the EFF message to rural communities was that land reform and food security should benefit the people, not just a chosen few.

He added that his party was forging partnerships with other like-minded parties, particularly to ensure corruption-free elections.

“Our own party agents will be dispatched throughout this province to make it a point that no wrong data is given to the Independent Electoral Commission from voting stations,” he said. He added that they will also keep an eye out for the IFP. “We are happy to say wherever the IFP is not strong on the ground, we will make sure everything goes as it should.”

[email protected]