The EFF has signalled it will embark on an aggressive campaign against the banks and President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government next year.
Party leader Julius Malema made this clear during his closing address at the party’s national elective conference where he was re-elected unopposed.
“The financial sector must be fought. 2020, it’s a war against the financial sector and against the banks of South Africa. We need them to know that no one is above the power of our people,” he told delegates.
This, he said, would be achieved with the help of leftist organisations such as trade union federation Saftu and its affiliate Numsa. In its discussion document, the party indicated that it needed to extend its influence and establish a trade union.
During its formative years, the EFF attempted to court Saftu and Numsa to become its affiliates. Numsa, however, opted to form its own political party, which failed to gain any traction among its members during the 2019 general elections.
During the first day of conference when Malema gave his opening address, Saftu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and AMCU president Joseph Mathunjwa were in attendance as VIP guests of the party.
“Ramaphosa, I want to tell you now that, even if you release Kanya Cekeshe, you are not our friend, because of what you did in Marikana. You are not our friend, because you want to sell our assets. We want to say to Numsa, Saftu, AMCU, let us unite in defence of the property that belongs to our people. We need to send a strong message to ABSA, FNB, Nedbank and a very soft message to Standard Bank. They must be confronted, and they must be told they cannot do as they wish,” Malema said on Monday.
With the 2021 local elections fast approaching, the EFF is looking to consolidate its bases, and it has its eyes set on taking over a number of the metros where no party has a clear majority.
Malema hopes the weakened metros will be ripe for the picking.
“We want to take Johannesburg; we want to take Tshwane; we want to take PE because all these coalition governments are telling you that the people are tired of the ANC.”
Malema encouraged delegates in each province to work harder on the ground and regain votes for the EFF.
As part of the party’s strategy to encourage hard work among its members, Malema said the EFF would do away with proportional representation councillors.
“In the previous local government elections, we had a problem of hard-working candidates losing their wards. The lazy ones from the PR lists going inside council on the vote of ward candidates. We are going to register only ward candidates and, if we win wards, the ones who won the wards go inside. The ones who follow, are the ones who got the highest votes, those will be our PR councillors to deal decisively with opportunism and laziness.”
Malema also took aim at the provinces, blasting many of the underperforming areas, including members from his home province Limpopo.
“Someone must explain to me why Limpopo province performs the way it does, because the people of Limpopo are looking for the EFF. But Limpopo is not giving us what we want. There is a problem there, deputy president.”
Malema said the Limpopo leaders should be “ashamed with yourself” for only increasing its share in the legislature by one seat.
He congratulated those from KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape for growing support in their provincial legislatures.
“What I like about the increase of [KwaZulu-Natal] and the Eastern Cape is the fact that you did away with the myth that seeks to suggest that EFF is a tribalistic organisation of Limpopo. You showed them that EFF is the whole [of] South Africa. So Limpopo, you must sort out your mess. We want more votes.”
However, Malema assured Limpopo delegates that the party would not be disbanding their structures.