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By Kyle Zeeman

Deputy Digital Editor

Promises, pads, and ‘Wololo’: What to expect at the EFF’s election manifesto launch

The event takes place just months before South Africans head to the polls.

Members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are expected to pack the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday for the party’s election manifesto launch.

The event takes place just months before South Africans head to the polls, with the date of elections set to be announced within the next two weeks.

Entertainment, food, and pads

The party set up a massive cooking centre, using 20 local caterers, to feed all those attending the event. There will also be water bottles handed out and free sanitary pads to all female attendees.

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There will be performances by several high-profile acts, including Major League DJs, DJ Tira, Big Nuz, Tyler ICU, Boohle, Big Zulu and Wololo hitmaker Babes Wodumo, but the fireworks are expected when leader Julius Malema takes to the stage later.

The ‘actual state of the nation’

Malema’s party boycotted this week’s State of the Nation Address in solidarity with six of its leaders who had been barred from attending the event.

It labelled Saturday’s event ” the actual State of Nation Address“, and is expected to use it to criticise the president and his speech.

The party has been vocal in the past on the need for a borderless Africa, land restitution, nationalisation of key institutions, and social relief for those most vulnerable.

Besides taking a swipe at the courts for its decision to uphold his ban from parliament this week, the ruling ANC, and President Cyril Ramaphosa; Malema is expected to address social grants and food security, equality, and education.

What has Malema said in the build-up?

He touched on some of these in his addresses to communities this week and claimed the ANC and IFP were following “the leader of society” when they announced they would also be holding their manifesto launches in the province in the coming weeks.

He repeated his support for an increase in old age and child grants, advocating for a R4 500 pension.

“When you give old people more money, you are guaranteeing that that money is feeding the black child. When you give old people money, they don’t gamble it. They buy a bag of mielie meal so our children are well fed. Imagine if you take that amount to R4 500 per person a month.”

He also hit back at critics who said the poor should not get more because it would lead them to have more children.

“When they say to you; ‘Who is going to feed these children? Because you are poor and don’t have money’. Tell them their father Malema will feed them when he becomes president of South Africa.”

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Malema may also speak about the party’s views on coalitions, ahead of crucial polls where the ANC may fail to get the majority of votes and a coalition government may need to be formed.

The party has been in coalition with several different parties over the last few years, including most recently with the ANC in Gauteng.

An official opposition in waiting?

The EFF has seen strong growth in the 10 years of its existence, becoming the third most popular political party in the country. A recent Ipsos poll suggested the Red Berets may outperform the Democratic Alliance (DA) in this year’s elections.

“In the data depicted, the EFF performs marginally better than the DA, potentially positioning itself as the official opposition,” the poll found.

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