The leaders of the Freedom Front Plus have attributed some of the party’s upward trajectory to calls by many to expropriate land without compensation.
Nationally, the FF+ had a very impressive run in the 2019 elections, up from 0.90% in 2014 to 2.38%.
Advocate Anton Alberts, national chairperson of the FF+, said they knew that there were many uncertain voters prior to the elections.
“We are very humbled by the way people have come out to vote for us and give us a mandate on their behalf with legislatures around the country and parliament. So, we were as surprised as the rest of the country. We did expect something was going to happen but not how big it would be,” he said.
Piet Mey, the leader of FF+ in the Eastern Cape, said they worked very hard in small towns around the province as well as in metros. One of the towns that seemed to warmly receive the FF+, which was is undoubtedly one of the biggest surprises in these elections, was Barkley East, under the ANC-run Senqu Local Municipality.
In one the voting districts in Barkley East the FF+ got the highest number of votes and received 38.66%, while the ANC come second with 36% followed by the DA at 22.66%. The EFF and COPE both received 1.33% of the vote in this district.
“I think the main reason for the surprise of the FF+ is expropriation of land without compensation. It played a big role for us and it was positive for us.
“You know the white people and minority groups don’t like the idea of land expropriation without compensation. And minority groups for the first time understood the policy of the FF+ ... we tell all the people we believe in equal rights,” Mey said.
Asked if they also had traditional black supporters who might have voted for the FF+ in these elections, including in areas such as Barkley East, Mey said: “Yes, many black people support us. Especially over the last two years so many black people phoned me others contacted me through email saying they want to join the Freedom Front Plus.”
He said their biggest challenge in the run-up to the elections as they were campaigning was funding.
“If we had more money we could have worked much harder. I am definitely positive for the 2021 municipal elections as well as the next national elections,” said Mey.
Provincially in the Eastern Cape the FF+ has also done relatively well than in the previous polls. The party ended off with 0.58% with 11 548 votes, going ahead of the AIC and the ACDP which had registered 0.42% and 0.47%.