Thapelo Lekabe
Digital Journalist
3 minute read
4 Nov 2021
2:12 pm

EFF willing to enter coalitions with all parties, but with conditions, says Malema

Thapelo Lekabe

'Anyone who comes to the EFF must come with a clear agenda of land redistribution, water provision, jobs, sanitation and care of disabled people.'

EFF leader Julius Malema at the IEC results center during a press briefing on 4 November 2021, Tshwane. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema says his party will engage with all parties that approach them regarding coalition talks in hung municipal councils.

However, the EFF leader says this will come with conditions his party won’t compromise on.

“The political parties that approach us must know that the first item on the agenda before sharing of positions will be the commitment to the people. And anyone who comes to the EFF must come with a clear agenda of land redistribution, water provision, jobs, sanitation and care of disabled people,” Malema said.

“We are willing to listen to everyone and we will take decisions on coalitions only when we are satisfied that they will lead to the total upliftment of our people and defeating poverty,” he added.

He was speaking at a media briefing on Thursday in Tshwane at the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC’s) results operations centre.

With 99% of vote counting completed by 12pm on Thursday, the EFF won 10.38% of votes nationally from Monday’s local government elections.

The Red Berets were given the status of “kingmakers” after the 2016 polls when they received 8.19% of votes. This was because the ANC failed to win the key metros of Tshwane, Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Nelson Mandela Bay with an outright majority.

This year the metros, including eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, are set to be governed through coalitions again after the ANC received 45.94% of votes tallied nationally.

Tradeoffs

Malema reiterated his party’s view that they were willing to make tradeoffs with other parties in order to govern specific municipalities they choose, as long as they have an agreement in place.

“We are more than ready to govern… the preferred model is that you take your municipality [and] we take our municipality. In that municipality, we supervise you through legislation. We don’t go into the executive. We become speakers, chief whips and [take part in] committees.

“And where you give the EFF a municipality you do the same. You don’t go into the executive, you go to the legislature to hold the EFF government accountable so that we don’t compromise each other [and] we always keep each other on our toes,” he explained.

The EFF leader said it did not matter whether his party had a small share of votes compared to parties like the ANC and DA.

“If there is no outright winner, there is no one who can go around trying to claim anything to us. The people have not chosen anyone, they said we must make arrangements among ourselves… that’s what coalitions mean.”

Is EFF worried about ActionSA?

Malema said they were “more than happy” with the outcome of the EFF’s performance in the elections, despite criticism that ActionSA outperformed the party in Gauteng’s major metros.

He said the EFF was showing a consistent steady increase in its voter support and should not be compared to smaller parties.

“The EFF is a national organisation and when you compare us, you must compare us with a national party. With the three national parties, the EFF is the only one growing.”

Malema said they were excited that the ANC’s electoral support had plummeted to below 50% for the first time in the municipal elections.

“I’m the happiest man because when we started this mission in 2013, we said that we are going to make sure that the ANC is out of power. We did that in 2016 and the mission is continuing,” he said.

Malema thanked all South Africans who voted for his party and commended the IEC for a successful election.

He praised the commission for introducing new technology in the form of their voter management devices, which replaced the old zip-zap machines.

“That device can provide data of who voted where and their gender. It must be welcomed and more electronic means must be introduced,” he said.

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