DA and EFF share their plans and vision

Two prominent political parties in the upcoming national elections shared their visions, policies, and leadership ideals for the future of South Africa.

The Wits School of Governance recently convened its second dialogue session as part of a series dedicated to examining crucial issues surrounding the upcoming national elections in South Africa.

Under the overarching theme of 30 Years of Democratic Governance and the 2024 South African Elections: Taking Stock and Looking Forward, this dialogue series delved into the profound implications of the elections for South Africa, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Africa, and the Global South, with a particular focus on gender dynamics within the electoral process.

The focus for the day was centred on a discussion titled In Their Voices and through their Lenses, intending to showcase perspectives from three prominent political parties: the African National Congress (ANC), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), and Democratic Alliance (DA).

The ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa did not attend this particular session, leaving the stage to be dominated by the DA and EFF, who shared their visions, policies, and leadership ideals for the future of South Africa.

Head of policy of the DA, Mat Cuthbert, said the DA is the right party to rescue South Africa.

He told attendees the reason why SA should vote for John Steenhuisen is because of the kind of leader he is.

“He is consultative, experienced, an activist, and an inclusive leader. He involves all the relevant people in decision-making which makes him understand the very volatile political territory. He is capable of turning things around for South Africa. He said that his vast experiences bring a very much informed leader who understands the challenges,” said Cuthbert

He admitted the DA, in recent years, had an identity crisis in terms of leadership and they have ironed out those challenges because that crisis punished them at the polls.

The DA shared said they have a rescue plan for SA and this document was guided by the challenges the country is currently facing.

The seven key priorities that the DA plans to focus on are:

• Create two million new jobs
• End load-shedding and water-shedding
• Halve the rate of violent crimes and crush corruption
• Lift the six million people out of poverty
• Triple the number of Grade Four learners who can read to understand
• Ensure agility in health care for all irrespective of economic status

Cuthbert said there is often a wrong impression of the DA being a middle-aged white male party.

“This is not the true reflection of our membership. We are the most diverse party in the country. Over the year we have shown such a diverse culture in the party, whether young or old,” said Cuthbert.

The DA was questioned that if they came into power would voters see a regression of the progress that has been made over the years to gender quality and black economic empowerment?

“I don’t believe so looking at our track record in the Western Cape, even though not perfect. The top five municipalities come from the Western Cape, this shows we deliver and deliver to the most vulnerable,” said Cuthbert.

EFF arrives

The EFF’s commander-in-chief Julius Malema arrived on stage to be welcomed by a significantly larger crowd that the opposition earlier that day.

Malema said the EFF’s priority is to take the numbers away from the ruling party.

“We are speaking to all the voters whether voting or not voting for the party. We are fighting an enemy with no face who is surviving on a brand and has no plan of how to save the country,” said Malema.

EFF leader Julius Malema.

He said the EFF is tackling the rural areas because those people think there is no alternative.

“For the rural areas, the ANC is politics and politics is ANC. We are educating them to say there is an alternative, and such a party is the EFF,” said Malema.

“We understand the struggles people face in the rural areas and we know the hardship they have to endure,” said Malema.

The EFF plans to move the ANC from 60% to 50% support.

“ANC is a big elephant so you have to eat it piece by piece until you collapse it. In 2016 we did that when we moved our votes to the DA to paralyse the ANC by taking away the purse from them, so we can all be on the same level,” said Malema.

The commander in chief said the EFF’s manifesto commitments for the general elections are inspired by as well as based on their movement’s seven cardinal pillars, which constitute the core of their approach to the genuine revolutionary transformation of society for the better.

He added the EFF Manifesto 2024 is primarily based on the numerous submissions the EFF received from different sectors through public consultations, which included public meetings, letters to different organisations, social media inputs, and oral submissions.

The seven pillars are:

• Expropriation of South Africa’s land without compensation for equal redistribution in use
• Nationalisation of mines, banks, and other strategic sectors of the economy, without compensation
• Building state and government capacity, which will lead to the abolishment of tenders
• Free quality education, healthcare, houses, and sanitation
• Massively protected industrial development to create millions of sustainable jobs. Including the introduction of minimum wage(s) to close the wage gap between the rich and the poor, close the apartheid wage gap, and promote rapid career paths for Africans in the workplace
• Massive development of the African economy and advocating for a move from reconciliation to justice on the entire continent
• Open, accountable, corrupt-free government and society without fear of victimisation by state agencies

On the outcome of the May 29 election, Malema said there will be stability even if the EFF does not win.

“The won’t be national instability because if the EFF doesn’t’ win. The EFF will be the official opposition. The ruling party will always be forced by dynamics,” said Malema.

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