By Boitumelo Molelekeng
Migration is often an exciting but also a painstaking journey from one end to another. One never really knows what lies ahead on the other site but excitement, hope and desire for change gives people courage to migrate. As scholars’ definition puts it Migration is a process of evolution. Many things evolve over time, from technology to species. It is a necessary part of life for all aspects of life to evolve to meet changing needs and circumstances.
We have noticed with great excitement the evolution of SA politics with the introduction of a militant, youthful organization that is on the side of the black majority in the form of the EFF. The introduction of the EFF has brought back pro-socialist policies into national discourse, policies that were nullified and demonized such as nationalisation of mines and expropriation of land without compensation.
The EFF manifesto is guided by popular policies that are not overly different from those pursued by liberation movements prior 1994. As early as 1955, the congress of the people that consisted of South Africans from all walks of life got together and adopted the freedom charter as the guide from Apartheid regime into a democratic socialist South Africa. Among organizations present were the now former liberation movement the African National Congress. Among other freedom charter objectives adopted in the 1955 congress was not only but most significantly the below objectives;
The people shall share in the country’s wealth
- The national wealth of our country, the heritage of South Africans, shall be restored to the people;
- The mineral wealth beneath the soil, the Banks and monopoly industry shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole;
- All other industry and trade shall be controlled to assist the well-being of the people;
- All people shall have equal rights to trade where they choose, to manufacture and to enter all trades, crafts and professions.
The Land Shall be shared among Those Who Work It
- Restrictions of land ownership on a racial basis shall be ended, and all the land re-divided among those who work it to banish famine and land hunger;
- The state shall help the peasants with implements, seed, tractors and dams to save the soil and assist the tillers;
- Freedom of movement shall be guaranteed to all who work on the land;
- All shall have the right to occupy land wherever they choose;
- People shall not be robbed of their cattle, and forced labour and farm prisons shall be abolished
If one looks at the above set objectives, the vital question is, have we as a nation achieved any of the objectives? To answer this, I will look at specific objectives individually to assess whether we have achieved the objective or not.
In reference to objective of restoring national wealth to the people plus monopoly banks, as we all know, most of our national wealth has not been restored to the people as set out in the freedom charter. Our minerals are still owned by those that owned them under the illegitimate white supremacist apartheid government. Banks are still in the hands of the previous owners and to add salt to the wound, imperialists (in the form of multinational corporations) own much of the minerals and financial sector.
Now to answer another objective as set out in the charter of land ownership, unfortunately the land remains largely in the hands of colonial settlers and imperialists. Natives do not have an equal share in the land as set out
In summary, the most fundamental objectives of the freedom charter have not been achieved thus far and will never be achieved under neo-liberal framework from which the former liberation movement works. This now brings me back to my argument of migration. It is vividly clear that the former liberation movement have abandoned the pursuit of the fundamental objectives of the freedom charter. What then should be the solution?
The solution is simple, let us all migrate to a new organization brought forth by evolution and maturity of our politics that espouses for the same objectives as set out before. Evolution does not mean necessarily total change, sometimes is applying same principles in a different format, organisation or place. The place for ANC members and supporters to migrate that are disappointed with them abandoning the objectives of the charter should be the EFF. EFF advocates for common ownership of wealth just as the freedom charter advocates.
On the other hand changing networks is not that simple, the packages offered by rival cellular services Vodacom and MTN vary, they have never been the same though similar. With EFF it’s the same package that the ANC should be offering but abandoned the Freedom charter. These objectives find concrete expression in the EFF policies. It is therefore less painstaking but exciting for an ANC member to migrate from the ANC to the EFF than it is for a Vodacom user to migrate to MTN.
In that note, we urge all who still uphold and regard highly the principles of the freedom charter to join EFF in their numbers to realize complete freedom and not just political freedom. Let us migrate to a new organisation with new logos and colours but the same principles. As we continue to struggle for the realization of economic freedom in our lifetime. Mayibuye I Afrika
Boitumelo Molelekeng is fully fledged member of the EFF, migrated from the ANC to defend the freedom charter Follow Boitumelo on twitter: @BVT23