What are the compelling asks that the EFF needs to take forward in a coalition with either the ANC or DA?
In a past article comparing the political strategies of the; ANC, DA and EFF Lulu White Raheem illustrated the big 3 as playing different ball games in their courting of public votes. In its emergence as the ultimate kingmaker, the EFF is strategically positioned to give either the ANC or DA the push they require for an outright majority in the battleground metros of Tshwane and Johannesburg. However, in its careful negotiation the EFF needs to be able to draw a line on the following contentious issues;
– Prioritising the vulnerable:
The EFF’s presence in parliament was characterized by it seeking accountability and the representation of working class issues. These have included; seeking legislative reform in the mining, retailing, construction, farming and manufacturing industries that will ensure that workers are compensated decent living wages.
– Real economic equity:
The ANC-led government implanted legislation that attempted to balance the scales on equality such as; Broad Bases Black Economic Equity act for businesses and both the Employment Equity Act and Labour Relations Act for employees. However, this created wealth for the politically connected and elite. The country’s majority is still seen to be poorer and disadvantaged. The EFF’s thoughts on these acts have included a promise to implement better BEE and Affirmative Action (AA). Concrete analysis on how these acts can be improved for better implementation was not offered, however, the fine details will have to be panned out as other political parties court EFF’s powerful position.
– Access to education
2015 ended with widespread student movement protests and the call against an increase in university fees. This has positioned the state of tertiary education as being critical to the country’s development, and perhaps, on a micro level, the ability for political parties to secure the youth vote.
In recognizing that there are gifted individuals, who lack means to access tertiary education, the EFF has promised to; send 15 000 students to the country’s best universities; increase capacity at universities; enroll more students at universities and increase the attainment of tertiary qualifications.
In considering their choice for the local elections, the electorate has shown substantive interrogation of manifestos and the track record of past delivery, the local elections have shown that people have voted on the priorities that impact their livelihoods and improve the socio-economic politics of the country. These elections require the political leaders to account to the populace on how these promises will be delivered and lives systematically improved. People have shown that they are not only voting for their current situation but the betterment of their children and future generation’s situations.
“These elections are going to go down as the most highly contested elections, possibly just as highly contested as the very first democratic elections – the stakes are quite high this time around, people want to hold the seating government and the opposition parties accountable over the last 22 years or so.” – Lulu White-Raheem, African Election Expert, 3 August 2016 CNBC Africa panel discussion