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EFF manifesto’s main points — nationalise stuff, scrap provinces and legalise dope

EFF manifesto’s main points — nationalise stuff, scrap provinces and legalise dope
Floyd Shivambu, EFF deputy president, Julius Malema, EFF president, and Marshall Dlamini, EFF secretary-general, at the party's election manifesto launch at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on 10 February 2024. (Photo: Gallo Images / Darren Stewart)

This week our guide to a party manifesto is the EFF’s. The party is polling at about 20%, with some pundits predicting it could become the official opposition. With a slogan of Land, Jobs and Electricity, the manifesto is radical populist, aimed at workers, unemployed people and young people.

Grants and social policy

  • Double all social grants;
  • Old age pensions R4,180 a month; war veterans R4,220; disability R4,180; care dependency R4,180; foster child R2,260; child support R1,020; grant-in-aid R1,020.
  • The manifesto does not specify a basic income but it introduces a stipend of R5,000 a month for unemployed graduates.

Climate change and the environment

  • The EFF does not support decommissioning coal-fired power stations or the principles of a just transition;
  • It supports local recycling, has a good ­landfill policy and will progressively introduce carbon taxes.

Crime and corruption

  • Retrain police by 2027 and employ 100,000 more cops;
  • Minimum sentence of 25 years for police found guilty of serious crime;
  • Protect whistle-blowers;
  • Economic justice courts for those unlawfully ­mistreated and exploited by corporations;
  • Pardon all Fees Must Fall and political activists;
  • A ‘corruption-free government’.

Economy

  • The narrative arc of the EFF manifesto is captured by this sentence: “The economy in South Africa continues today to be under the ownership and control of white minority settlers”;
  • The centrepiece is the nationalisation of mines, banks and other strategic sectors of the economy without compensation;
  • No taxes for companies that create 2,000 full-time jobs across 30 special economic zones and the whole of the Northern Cape;
  • Regulate lower and standardised data costs;
  • Start state-owned companies in key sectors;
  • Start a sovereign wealth fund, to be capitalised by foreign investors.

Education

  • Free, decolonised education;
  • Prioritise indigenous ways of learning and teaching;
  • Focus on edu-tech;
  • Scrap the IEB exams;
  • 10,000 annual scholarships to top global universities;
  • All universities to offer Swahili by 2027;
  • R1-million grant for every black PhD student.

Financial sector

  • Nationalise the Reserve Bank;
  • Start state-owned banks, including a national state bank into which all grants and pensions must be paid;
  • Jail CEOs of banks named by the Competition Commission as colluding to fix the value of the rand;
  • Start a state-owned insurance company that government employees must use;
  • 80% of all private retirement funds to be administered and run by black-owned companies.

Food

  • Ensure all food is locally produced, not imported.

Governance

  • Scrap provinces and strengthen local government;
  • Reduce presidential power to strengthen Parliament;
  • Resurface roads and bridges, and eradicate potholes, by 2028;
  • Two new water treatment plants in each province;
  • Eliminate pit latrines and upgrade education infrastructure.

Foreign policy

  • Focus on Africa with a R187-billion annual investment to grow the African economy;
  • Turn gaze towards the socialist-populist world, including Venezuela and Cuba.

Health

  • Free universal healthcare;
  • Each district to have a specialist hospital.

Housing

  • Provide spacious, quality houses for all people;
  • Regulate rents.
  • Stop banks repossessing houses once 50% of the mortgage is paid.

Jobs

  • National minimum wage of R6,000 a month with higher minimums in specified sectors;
  • 24-hour economy with a three-shift system.

Land

  • Expropriate land without compensation;
  • Make all land state owned;
  • Restrict foreign land ownership;
  • Transfer 50% of land to black people within five years.

Energy

  • Repair existing power station fleet;
  • Stop decommissioning coal-fired power plants;
  • Focus on carbon capture, clean coal and nuclear energy, with a starring role for Russia;
  • Encourage shale gas exploration;
  • Direct Eskom to develop a substantial renewable energy division;
  • 200kWh/month free electricity to poor households.

Migration

  • All migrants to be registered with Home Affairs;
  • Beyond that, free movement of people across Africa.

Public service

  • Focus on insourcing of all services the state buys;
  • Effective use of conditional grants for municipalities.

Reality check

  • This is an extremely long and expensive manifesto. The EFF would run an economy similar to Venezuela or Cuba’s, but with a mixed economy in some sectors;
  • It would double (or even triple) the grants budget and the civil service wage bill. The minimum wage proposals would cause most businesses to pack up;
  • The economy would collapse because of the proposals in the financial sector.

Cool things

  • The focus on young people, students and the ­LGBTQI+ community is well considered, if expensive. DM


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Read more in Daily Maverick: 2024 elections

This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 newspaper, which is available countrywide for R29.

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