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More socialist theory than 21st century realities

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To hasten black participation in South Africa’s economy, he said, the EFF would apply its “Seven Cardinal Pillars”

Supporters of South Africa's radical left-wing party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), hold a placard bearing the face of Julius Malema during the launch of the party's election manifesto in Soshanguve

THIS past weekend the EFF launched its 2019 election manifesto, with party leader Julius Malema making the case for why South Africa’s voters should trust him and his fellow red berets with their votes.

In 170 pages, Malema emphasised that poor, black South Africans had waited too long (25 years) since the end of apartheid for an improvement in their material conditions.

To hasten black participation in South Africa’s economy, he said, the EFF would apply its “Seven Cardinal Pillars”, which are the:

Expropriation of land without compensation.

Nationalisation of mines, banks and other strategic sectors of South Africa’s economy.

Building state and government capacity, which will lead to the abolition of tenders.

Free quality education, health care, houses and sanitation.

Massive protected industrial development to create millions of sustainable jobs, including the introduction of minimum wage(s) in order 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, corruption-free government and society without fear of victimisation by state agencies.

Further down, Malema states “the EFF does not promote job creation at any cost”, adding that the role of trade unions needs to be specifically guaranteed and protected.

The manifesto also talks about income inequality, the doubling of social grants, inward industrialisation and import substitution, while it spells out minimum wages for a raft of sectors, also doing away with provinces.

Malema and his brains trust in the EFF had modelled most of their rhetoric on populists like former Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, whose policies have seen that country descend into economic basket case status.

Millions of Venezuela’s citizens have fled the country for better pastures while dictator and Chavez’s successor Nicolas Maduro clings to power.

The EFF won’t form the next government, but that’s not the plan. It’s to push the ruling party to the left, and ultimately subsume it.