Reports from the Grassroots

2017-04-16 03:44

I spent Saturday morning in Soweto and by the afternoon I was in Soshanguve. I had the opportunity to jostle with people, feel their heart and minds. I listened to their pulse and tempo.

It is really difficult these days to meet staunchest ANC member standing up and boldly defending the ANC, as it has always been the case as you talk around with the people.

On the other hand people speak about EFF with livid glowing faces.

These attitudes got me thinking. For sure I do know why ANC is being denounced, but of EFF, why are people seeing it as a rescue mission?

What attracts people to EFF is its fertile intellectual back room and being rooted within communities, and having a disciplined multi media communication platform that delivers clearest messages.

EFF members are taught even the tiniest sound culture habits. Sometimes you see them voluntarily going up and down cleaning their communities, clearing the rubble and litter.

You see the EFF Commander in Chief Julius Malema using his speech during the 100 000 strong National Day of Action march to the Union Buildings, helping people to have a basic understanding on how horrible and bad it is now that the ANC has placed the country into junk status. Progress is the result of an informed society.

You see the Deputy President supporting, promoting and embracing the disabled communities - encouraging and urging them on.

You see EFF councilors agreeing to get huge salary cuts in order to build the EFF, to advance the struggle of community advancement. That is selflessness on their part. Just imagine how hard to them it can be, it requires self discipline and character. The organization is training them sound ethics, not to view politics as a place to become wealthy but being about the advancement of the greater good.

EFF is about sacrifice, pain and taking a road less traveled. Initially being against the ANC took a lot of strain on EFF leaders. It has meant that they were shunted, disregarded, ignored, given a cold shoulder and excluded from national events. Remember they are human, they felt the sharp rejection. Most of them could have become cowards and remained in the ANC serving an individual but they developed courage and mastered their own destiny, they refused to be silent, refused to be cowed down to serve one individual, and so some were expelled, breaking free from the ANC with big consequences. Breaking free from the ANC meant they missed out on million dollar corrupt opportunities.

What are the other things that attracts people to EFF?

A focused supported skills base, vibrant economically free communities and vibrant entrepreneurship base, are the basic tenets of EFF. Community building is the cultivation of personal pride. And how can you have individual pride when you are landless and disfranchised?

And so you have this big push by EFF to settle people properly on land - make them human. Once people retain their dignity - properly settled, bit by bit their creative energies is unleashed. They are able to start doing little things and from there grow big. They use their creativity to build own backyard businesses; like manufacture bricks, welding works, panel beating, farming and so on. And out of those spaces they are able to grow nationally. That is how you develop an entrepreneurship culture.

EFF does not want people to be forever picking little crumbs from tables of white people. It wants people to be the masters of their own destiny. Drive their own things, own their own land. Is that too hard to understand? I have never met any person denouncing EFF stance on land. The criticism is about the approach and the process.

ANC, recently, has been too loud mouthed about land, but people on the grassroots are suspicious that ANC leaders are pushing the land issue because they just want to benefit themselves as individuals not society at large. Anyway that has always been the driving force of the ANC, it is always about themselves as leaders, not the people. So why should people trust them this time around when they talk about land?  Standing for something genuine that benefit the larger society is not for ANC leaders. They can make big elephant statements about loving the poor but their actions speak louder than those statements.

And then there have been some people out there who says EFF is violent and militaristic. But what I get is that reality is sinking in among the people. Who is violent between the ANC and the EFF? Between EFF members and the ANC members who are the howlers, hecklers and disrupters of meetings? Look at ANC through its disorganized and chaotic youth league and wayward so called MK military veterans.

Who is violent between the EFF and the ANC mayor in Ekurhuleni Mzwandile Masina? In Tshwane Metro, the ANC has ensured council meetings are disrupted. In Nelson Mandela Metro an ANC honcho hit a council member with a glass water jug. And the person was celebrated for that violent act - he became popular and was voted to become the chairperson of that region.

Have you ever heard EFF leaders promising to use sjamboks to deal with their critics? What about the other time when the president of the ANC Youth League said he wanted to cause a civil war in the country?

What EFF has is ideological strength, and the capacity and guts to vocalize lucidly those ideas. EFF has helped our democracy to mature and grow. Look in Parliament. For the first time the ruling party is compelled to sit down. Arrogance has given way to the power of ideas and objective reasoning.

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