Ambitious EFF eyes three provinces in bid to drop ANC support below 50%

Julius Malema
Julius Malema

The EFF has stated its ambition to take power from the ANC in three provinces, a key part of the strategy to drop the governing party’s support to below 50% at national level in the May 8 elections.

The party said last week it had sharpened its focus in North West, Gauteng and Limpopo on the back of strong indications that it could halt the ANC’s runaway train.

The ANC had been handicapped by internal strife in North West – where the EFF is the main opposition – and Gauteng would be hotly contested.

EFF leader Julius Malema was in Limpopo two weeks ago oiling the EFF election machinery.

According to a senior provincial leader, Malema talked up the EFF’s potential in Limpopo – his home province.

“He has told us to ensure that EFF volunteers bring three to five voters on election day and ensure that they vote for the EFF,” the leader said.

Last week Malema hosted a breakfast with elders in Brakpan, Ekurhuleni. As in North West, the EFF got the second-biggest number of votes in Limpopo in 2014.

Malema told City Press last week that the ANC was taking strain in the three provinces the EFF was eyeing.

“Research shows the ANC is shaking in those provinces. There is no ANC. The EFF is the only organisation that is increasing. It is a fact which even researchers – who don’t like to announce that – have come to concede the EFF is growing and the ANC and DA are declining,” he said.

Malema revealed that the EFF’s bold plan was to bring the ANC below 50% nationally.

“We want to bring [the ANC in] every province below 50% and ultimately the ANC nationally below 50%.”

Malema seemed to have been buoyed by the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) election poll which suggests that the ANC is losing supporters to the DA and EFF.

The poll showed the ANC now enjoyed the support of 54.7% voters nationally. This is a decline from the 62.1% it secured in 2014.

In the poll, the EFF support stood at 12.2% – an increase from the 6.3% in 2014.

In Gauteng the ANC support stood at 41.6% – a 12% decrease from the 53.6% in 2014. The DA was at 32.4%, a 1.6% increase from 30.8% in 2014.

The EFF stood at 18.2% – an increase of 7.9% from the 10.3% it secured in the last election.

Gareth van Onselen, head of politics and governance at the IRR, said the ANC and the EFF were locked in a battle for between 5% and 10% of alienated black ANC voters.

“Where those voters end up on May 8 will go some way towards determining the fate of these two parties. It is clear those 5% to 10% of alienated black ANC voters are fluid and have, to one degree or another, shifted between the ANC and EFF in the past five months,” Van Onselen said.

He said since February the ANC looked like it would battle to reach its internal national election target of 60%.

The EFF had a “plan B” if it did not win the election outright. It was prepared to form coalitions with other political parties. Malema said the party has laid out conditions of forming a coalition and insisted that his party would not compromise on these.

“After elections we, ourselves, are going into government. We are going to be MMCs [members of the mayoral committees] in Johannesburg. There is going to be a mayor who walks like [the] EFF in Tshwane. And we would go into a coalition with anyone who is prepared to stick to that arrangement. We can’t have a DA having two municipalities yet they have not won the elections.

“As scientific people, we know that research shows there will be a possibility of a coalition”.

The EFF demands included supporting the renaming of Cape Town International Airport after Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, expropriation of land without compensation and nationalisation of the strategic sectors of the economy.

“Anyone who does not support that will not be in a coalition with the EFF,” Malema said.


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