7 Non-negotiable pillars

The 7 Non-negotiable pillars of the EFF

LandNationalisationGovernment capacityFree servicesDevelopmentInvestmentGovernment transparency

Expropriation of land without compensation for equitable redistribution

1. The EFF’s approach to land expropriation without compensation is that all land should be transferred to the ownership and custodianship of the state in a similar way that all mineral and petroleum resources were transferred to the ownership and custodianship of the state through the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) of 2002. The state should, through its legislative capacity transfer all land to the state, which will administer and use land for sustainable-development purposes. This transfer should happen without compensation, and should apply to all South Africans, black and white.

2. Once the state is in control and custodianship of all land, those who are currently using the land or intend using land in the immediate will apply for land-use licences, which should be granted only when there is a purpose for the land being applied for. Those applying for licences will be granted licences for a maximum of 25 years, renewable on the basis that the land is being used as planned. The state should, within this context, hold the right to withdraw the licence and reallocate the land for public purposes.

3. State custodianship of land will mean that those who currently occupy land should apply for licensing to continue using the land and should clearly state in the application what they want to use the land for over a period of time. Under this legislation, no one should be allowed to own land forever, because those who have money can, over time, buy huge plots of land and use them for counter-developmental private purposes, such as using land as game farms. A maximum of 25 years can then be placed on all land leases applied for by private corporations and individuals, with the state retaining the right to expropriate in instances where the land is not used for the purpose applied for.

4. In line with the Freedom Charter and a new vision of agrarian revolution, the state should also provide implements and related extension services to help those who work the land to use it productively. Furthermore, the state’s procurement of food should prioritise small-scale farmers so that small-scale farming becomes a sustainable economic activity for the majority of our people. The state must buy more than 50% of the food for hospitals, prisons and schools from small-scale farmers in order to develop small-scale agriculture.

5. Food production, packaging, transportation, marketing, advertising, retail, and trade should constitute one of South Africa’s biggest economic sectors. With a growing global population, and the growing capacity of Africans to buy food, South Africa needs to produce agricultural output through provision of subsidies to small-scale farmers, and open packaging and retail opportunities for these farmers.

6. A structured state support and agricultural-protection mechanism should be applied to all food products, including beef and other meats’ production and processing. The same applies to fruit, maize, and other essential food items produced by small-scale farmers. To boost sustainable demand domestically, the South African government should pass legislation that all the food bought by government for hospitals, schools, prisons, and the like should be sourced from small-scale food producers. This in itself will create sustainable economic activity, and inspire many young people to go into food production because there will be income and financial benefits to boost other economic activities out of it. The economy of food production needs well-structured protection mechanisms and subsidies in order to protect jobs and safeguard food security. Most developed and developing nations are doing the same.

7. With a clearly defined and well-structured mechanism, South Africa, which is, oddly, a net importer of food, can realise the development of the food economy in a manner that exceeds Brazil’s. This will add sustainable job creation, not the kind of short-term jobs created through infrastructure development. This will, of course, require land reform to be expedited and water supplies to be guaranteed for the sustainability of the this important sector of the economy.

Nationalisation of mines, banks and other strategic sectors of the economy.

1.Owing to the character of the South African economy and the aspirations of the people for economic freedom, state ownership and control of strategic sectors of the economy should be the foundation for sustainable economic transformation in South Africa. A supposition that the South African economy can be transformed to address the massive unemployment, poverty and inequality crisis without transfer of wealth from those who currently own it to the people as a whole is illusory. The transfer of wealth from the minority should fundamentally focus on the commanding heights of the economy. This should include minerals, metals, banks, energy production, and telecommunications and retain the ownership of central transport and logistics modes such as Transnet, Sasol, Mittal Steel, Eskom, Telkom and all harbours and airports.

2.The ownership of mineral wealth should be considered through various means, prime being the expropriation of the current minerals-production processes in South Africa, and the commencement of extraction, processing and trade on new land. The ownership of minerals beneath the soil could in effect entail the discontinuation of total private ownership of production means in the production of mineral wealth in South Africa. The route towards total transfer of mineral wealth to the ownership of the people as a whole should include the creation of an efficient and impactful state-owned mining company. It will be efficient and impactful because a state-owned mining company should contribute to job creation, while being efficiently managed and administered in a manner that will raise the levels of public confidence in the capacity of the state to do business and contribute to economic development.

3.Nationalised mineral wealth will in effect constitute a very firm basis for the beneficiation of these products in both heavy and light industrial processes in South Africa, which could be left to industrial and manufacturing entrepreneurs, co-operatives and small and medium enterprises, so as to develop the productive forces of the South African economy, which is still reliant on the production of primary commodities. Instead of relying on neoliberal mechanisms to attract industrial and manufacturing investments to South Africa, such as a narrow fiscal stability, and decreased labour costs, the state, in the ownership of mineral wealth and metals, could provide incentives to reduce prices for the primary and raw commodities, which will be industrialised and beneficiated in South Africa.

4.Minerals and metals beneficiation will constitute a very firm, sustainable and labour-absorptive industrial process, which will feature both import-substituting and export-led industrialisation. Various other areas of an increased, sustainable and labour absorptive industrial process could be explored within a situation where the production of metals and minerals are nationalised for the benefit of all. Industrial and manufacturing entrepreneurs, co-operatives, and small and medium enterprises from outside and inside South Africa could then be allowed to industrialise the South African economy, with guaranteed rights, and regulated through transformation charters which will lead to skills transfer at all levels of corporations’ structures.

5.This process should conspicuously be coupled with an effective skills-development, training and education strategy, which will directly feed into a growing industrial and manufacturing process. Importantly for this process to happen, the South African liberation movement and the state should mobilise massive support of the working class, some sections of the middle class and established industrial entrepreneurs and corporations behind a consolidated national economic-developmental plan, which will address the social challenges characteristic of South African society. This is one revolution that requires support from various sections of South African society and should be understood within such a context.

6.Certainly, the nationalisation of minerals and metals might ignite international condemnation by global imperialists, institutionalised in the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and, notably, the World Trade Organisation. A broader mass movement should be mobilised in South Africa in defence of these massive economic reforms, because they constitute the core of our economic emancipation programme. Mass campaigns on what nationalisation (people and state ownership and control) of minerals, metals and other strategic sectors of the economy will entail should be conducted to garner support from the people as a whole.

7.The benefits of nationalising strategic sectors of the economy will include, but not be limited to, the following realities:1.An increased fiscus for, and therefore more resources for, education, housing, healthcare, infrastructure development, safety and security and sustainable livelihoods for our people.
–  More jobs for our people because state-owned and controlled mines will increase the local beneficiation and industrialisation of mineral resources. This will, in turn, reduce the high levels of poverty consequent of joblessness.
–  More equitable spatial development because state-owned and controlled mines will invest in areas where mining is happening.
–  Better salaries and working conditions in mines because state-owned mines will increase the mining wage and improve compliance with occupational health and safety standards.
–  Greater levels of economic and political sovereignty, as the state will be in control and ownership of strategic sectors of the economy, which produce mineral resources needed around the world.

8 It is important to highlight that, as part of this programme, the transfer of wealth to the ownership of the people as a whole is not limited to mines only, but should necessarily extend to monopoly industries. The creation of a State Bank and the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank constitute an immediate task and essential to the development of the South African economy, as it can be progressively positioned to improve the existence of state-owned development finance institutions, in order to finance new industries. The State Bank will also provide enterprise finance, housing finance and vehicle finance for all South Africans in a manner that promotes development, not the narrow pursuit of profits.

9 The EFF-led government will establish a State Bank, which should be accompanied by the transformation of the financial sector as a whole, particularly banking and insurance industry practices and norms. Finance capital dominates the world economy and carries with it the potential to undermine all efforts to build a better life for all people. Vigilance and greater state participation in the financial sector is therefore a vital component of efforts to build a sustainable and better life for all the people of South Africa. India and China were firmly insulated from the global financial crisis because their state-owned and controlled financial sectors did not venture into the practices of private banks in the West that led to the collapse of the world economy.

The EFF will limit foreign ownership of strategic and monopoly sectors, where the state does not exert full ownership, in order to protect South Africa’s sovereignty and to limit the repatriation of profits, so that these can be used for the further development of our people.Building 

Building state and government capacity.

1. For a successful state that seeks to drive real economic and industrial development and provide better services, an inspired, skilled, and well-compensated public service is required. The public service should be strengthened for a sustainable transformation of the economy. The ethos of such a state should be developmental and very strong and, hence, consistent with anti-corruption measures. This is emphasised because the task of fundamental economic transformation requires a strong state with the ability to develop a clear strategic vision, and be able to implement and monitor the progress being made.

2. This should, essentially, be a state that has the capacity to marshal all progressive social forces in society, particularly the working class, towards developmental objectives. The state should build internal capacity to construct and maintain infrastructure such as roads, railways and dams and basic services such as schools, houses, hospitals and recreational facilities. The state’s dependence on tenders has massive political implications and often reduces the quality of work provided because of corruption and the corruptibility of the whole tendering system. In addition, the reliance on tenders limits the capacity of the state to directly industrialise the country by deliberately building value chains through direct state procurement.

3. The state’s capacity to perform these functions will entail that the public service and its servants be properly maintained, serviced and adequately remunerated at all levels. At the centre of a strong developmental state should be a motivated, inspired and well-remunerated public service that shares in the developmental vision of the country. These interventions should be coupled with an increased capacity to aggressively fight corruption and criminality within the state. The fight against corruption should not be a side issue, but a fundamental component of the state apparatus in order to increase public confidence in the state. In this context, the EFF will place a premium on strengthening the revolutionary trade union movement in the public sector, which should establish a practical and immediate bridge through which the working class exercises its power over the state apparatus.

4. A strong developmental state should necessarily have political power and technical capacity to give developmental mandates to state-owned enterprises (SOE) and private corporations. SOE and private sector compliance with the state’s developmental targets should not be voluntary, but a mandatory, crucial factor around which the state should be able to use a carrot-and-stick system to enforce. It can never be correct that the state operates only with the “hope” that the still colonial and foreign-owned, and thus unpatriotic, private sector, in particular, will voluntarily underwrite the developmental agenda and pursue the agenda of job creation, poverty reduction and sustainable development with the same vigour that should define government.

5. As concrete steps forward, which the state should initiate, establish and give strategic and financial support to, are the following:

a. A state housing-construction company.
b. A state roads-construction company.
c. A state cement company.
d. A state pharmaceutical company.
e. A state-owned mining company.
f. A state food-stocking company (to regulate prices of basic foodstuffs and guarantee food security for all).

6. These state companies will be buttressed by state ownership of critical parts of the value chains in which these companies operate, e.g. petrochemicals (Sasol), steel (Arcelor-Mittal), etc, so that they produce essential inputs into the economy on a non-profit-maximisation basis.

7. Within this context, the state will employ engineers, quantity surveyors, project managers, and builders for sustainable tasks. Their responsibilities will include the construction of houses, roads, bridges, sports facilities, dams, sewerage systems and more. These should be subjected to strict standards of quality assurance to ensure that, at all times, state-constructed entities are of good quality. State-owned companies will not be driven by principles of profit maximisation, but by the need to provide cheap and affordable services to the people and the economy at large.

Free quality education, healthcare, houses, and sanitation.

1. Education: Education will be free up to undergraduate level and all pupils and students will be provided with adequate learning and teacher-support materials. For successful and sustainable economic development and growth, South Africa requires a concerted focus on the attainment of skills, education and expertise in various fields. The attainment of skills should necessarily respond to the massive skills shortages that define existent industries, but the education system should also be positioned to assist with new industrial developments. The approach to realising this noble objective should include, but not be limited to, the alignment of skills to industrial sectors, the expansion of post-secondary education and training, the transformation of higher education and training and the introduction of a new scholarship system that will provide educational and training opportunities to South African youth studying outside the country so that they can return after learning more than would have been possible within South Africa’s borders.

2. The alignment of skills to industrial sectors should be done in a manner similar to the approach adopted by developed economies, but in a more focused and properly resourced model that would necessarily include the establishment of focus universities. South Africa should establish and resource sector-focused institutions of higher learning. The EFF will encourage tertiary institutions to expand and deepen their qualitative focus in terms of course offerings and research, with a view to create centres of excellence across the tertiary education spectrum. Skills, education and expertise are an important feature of sustainable industrial and economic development for any economy. The South African government, in collaboration with industrial and manufacturing investors and practitioners, should put in place industry-linked training authorities, which will train, particularly, young people for various responsibilities in new industries and factories. Various sectors, including minerals beneficiation and industrialisation (eg diamond cutting and polishing) are highly labour-absorptive sectors and a training agency should be established for this sector to supply labour to this particular sector.

3. The post-secondary education and training capacity in South Africa presently does not respond to the quantities of aspirant students produced by the general education system. General education produces close to 1 million young people annually who graduate without any hope of further education or drop out of school for varied reasons, chief among them the problem of being excluded from opportunity along with many other socioeconomic reasons in the wake of widespread inadequate teaching methodologies. These learners should be provided with opportunities for post-secondary training, education and development through mechanisms which that will include higher education institutions, further education and training colleges, support for small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMME), and various other forms of vocational training.

4. As a matter of principle, the state should build capacity at post-secondary education and training level that will put the state in a position to absorb all learners who pass their senior certificates and/or leave school from grades 10 and 11. This entails, among other things that the state should heavily invest in the qualitative and quantitative expansion of higher education institutions, FET colleges, SMME mentorship programmes and other vocational training programmes and institutions. This should necessarily be accompanied by a comprehensive strategy aimed at realising free education. A critical role will be played by state-owned enterprises, municipalities and other state agencies in absorbing and training learners from tertiary institutions.

5. In this regard, a new scholarship funded by government, state-owned enterprises and the private sector should be established to fund suitably qualified students accepted in the best universities around the world. The South African government, at various levels, is already contributing to the education and training of medical doctors and other health professionals in Cuba. This should be radically expanded to a minimum of 10 000 students sent annually to various countries to attain skills, education and expertise on different, but critical, fields by 2016. The number of students sent to the best universities around the world should be reflective of South Africa’s demographics in terms of race, gender and class. Emphasis should be placed on the fact that the students sent to the best universities should have shown capacity to make progress because they should, indeed, make progress. These students will later contribute to the country’s socioeconomic development, economy and knowledge development.

6. At all levels of the education system, pupils and students will be taught to love their country, their people and their continent and will be taught the principles of social solidarity, progressive internationalism and the pursuit of social justice. Knowledge of technical skills alone is not enough to build a country. The EFF will therefore couple technical education with progressive civic education.

7. The state should build massive capacity in healthcare, and remunerate medical practitioners in a way that attracts the best medical practitioners to the public healthcare sector. As an immediate programme, the state should regulate the cost of medicine and healthcare provision in order to prevent private hospitals from overpricing medical care, which is a basic human right. Secondly, the EFF will move with speed to set up a state pharmaceutical company to decisively intervene in the production and distribution of medicines. Thirdly, the EFF will urgently engage with doctors’ and nurses’ unions, including general staff unions that operate in the health sector, to exert working class power and control over the health system, with a view to improve the quality and quantity of health services. Issues that must be urgently addressed will include remuneration and career paths, skills development and training (especially the strengthening of nursing and other colleges), and the establishment of norms and standards for quality health services in clinics and hospitals.

8. Human Settlement and Housing: The state should, through the state housing-construction company improve the quality and size of low-cost houses. The state should further regulate housing finance through providing housing finance that does not exceed a period of 10 years. Integrated human settlement should, in the real sense, be definitive of all settlements led by the state, with guaranteed bulk services such as water provision, electricity, sewerage systems and more. House repossessions should be illegal.

9. The state, at all levels, should have the obligation to provide sanitation wherever people reside. This is a fundamental human right, which should lead to the abolishment of bucket and pit toilets.

Massive protected industrial development to create millions of sustainable jobs, including the introduction of minimum wages in order to close the wage gap between the rich and the poor.

1. Within the context of a state-led industrial policy, the state should protect infant industries, particularly in areas where the country does not enjoy competitive advantages. The industrialisation South Africa should adopt ought to be both export-led and import-substituting industrialisation. It is an open secret that South Africa continues to export natural resources and import virtually all finished goods and services. South Africa’s 10 biggest exports to China are natural and raw materials while our imports from China are finished goods and services. This should change and internal capacity must be built, in collaboration with established industrial and manufacturing corporations, in order to locally manufacture the goods and services we currently import from other economies. This will lead to industrial and manufacturing investments by corporations that manufacture the goods and services we currently import, further building internal skills capacity to expand on these areas.

2. In all other industries, the state should introduce, through legislation, minimum wages, which will better the living conditions of the people. The areas that need immediate focus include, but are not limited to mine workers, farm workers, private security guards, domestic workers, cleaners, petrol attendants, waiters and waitresses, and Retail stores workers. The approach should also lead to the abolishment of Labour Brokers.

3. South Africa’s inequalities are, among other things, a result of the wage gap between top managers and ordinary workers. This, therefore, means that levels of underemployment are at a crisis level because an absolute majority of workers are not adequately remunerated. This should change, and, as an immediate programme and plan, a set of minimum wages on all sectors of the South African economy should be enacted into laws, binding all sectors. The EFF rejects the orthodoxy that minimum wages cause unemployment. We believe that minimum wages are a primary instrument against poverty, serve to lift domestic demand for domestic goods and services, and are one of the important tools through which the people of South Africa will share in the country’s wealth.

4. Economic Freedom Fighters will fight not through boardrooms and media statements but through mass-based campaigns in support of organised workers, for establishing minimum wages in all the critical sectors of the South African economy and society as a means of bettering many people’s lives. By fighting for increases in minimum wages, the EFF will organise and play a leading role in the struggles of workers in various sectors, with the minimum demands of adequate minimum wages, and better working conditions.

5. The EFF will also call for legislation on incomes policy, including regulation of the pay of chief executive officers, directors, chief financial officers and managers in all sectors of the economy. Laws should be passed that executive pay should be a certain proportion of the wages of the lowest paid workers in respective firms, as one way of dealing with obscene levels of income inequality.

6.We need to talk about the recruitment and promotion of Africans in the workplace, and the opportunities for workers to move up the career ladder through opening up access to tertiary institutions so that workers with experience can benefit. In this regard, we need to refer to employment equity reports.

Massive investment in the development of the African economy.

1. The South African state’s capacity to do big business should be expanded to the African continent. State-owned enterprises should heavily invest in the infrastructure and industrial development of the African continent. This should be markedly distinct from the manner in which the Western Powers (the US and European Union) and China do business in Africa. Investment by Transnet in the continent should leave massive footprints concerning skills transfer, the development of the communities where investments happen, the payment of tax, reinvestments, corporate social investment, safety standards, compliance with labour laws and regulations and the fundamental economic development of these countries.

2. South Africa’s established state-owned enterprises and semi-owned parastatals, such as SAA, the Airports Company of South Africa, Eskom, Telkom, Denel, Safcol and other public entities such as the SABC, Infranco and Sentech should begin to invest in the development of the African continent. While avoiding adventurism, these investments should not be driven by the narrow pursuit of profit maximisation, but the need to develop Africa’s infrastructure, logistics, systems and communications in a manner that will transfer skills and create sustainable employment opportunities for many people in the continent, thus contributing to development.

3. The development of the African continent is inextricably linked with the development of South Africa. No amount of sustainable socioeconomic development and stability will be realised in South Africa unless the state plays in active role in the economic development of the African continent. This, obviously, should include the development of trade corridors that link up the entire African continent and create capacity to consume goods and services produced on the continent.

4. In this context, South Africa’s role in the economic development of the African continent should not be that of being merely a gateway to Africa’s natural resources and raw materials for bigger and more rapidly developing economies. South Africa should inspire countries in the African continent to maximise socioeconomic benefits from their natural resources and raw materials, as part of realising economic freedom for the African people. This should not be a rhetorical role, but a concrete guided programme, which should include South African state-owned enterprises expanding to other parts of Africa with the sole aim of uplifting the respective countries’ economies.

5. Owing to surpluses and many sustainable-developmental considerations that will be generated as a result of the South African state’s control and ownership of strategic sectors of the economy, government should establish a sovereign wealth fund, which will prudently invest in the development of the African economy. This fund will also assist in the insulation of the South African economy whenever there are volatilities in resource-sector prices and when nonrenewable resources are exhausted. Most countries, including China, the US, Saudi Arabia, Norway, Libya, Nigeria, Chile, France and many others, have sovereign wealth funds for these purposes. As we speak, despite massive resource riches, South Africa has no sovereign wealth fund, mainly because South Africans do not own their resources.

6. Economic Justice: The question of economic justice is fundamental to the political programme of the Economic Freedom Fighters in South Africa and should be promoted actively in the African continent. This includes the regulation and abolishment of foreign control and ownership of strategic sectors of the economy in South Africa and the African continent. The EFF political programme should deliberately provide ideological, political and economic support to countries that seek to discontinue foreign control in order to take ownership of their own economic resources within the context of providing assistance where there is difficulty.

Open, accountable, corrupt-free government and society without fear of victimisation by state agencies.

1. The current political system is designed to exclude the people from participating in decision making. South Africa’s electoral systems are controlled by money, secrecy and power. All political parties refuse to disclose their financial backers, despite the millions they get from parliament. It is a crying shame that in the 21st century we are presided over by an elite system of power where only 400 members of the national assembly govern over 50 million people. The EFF shall agitate for the transfer of power to the people and make democracy real for the majority.

2. All political parties should be obliged by law to publicly disclose their sources of funds in order to avoid political coup d’états financed by greedy multinational corporations and criminal associations that seek to have access to South Africa’s resources. If political parties are interested in managing so many mineral resources and so much wealth in South Africa, they should be interested in disclosing their sources of funding.

3. State agencies should have the necessary relative autonomy, which will rid them from micromanagement and manipulation by politicians. Heads of the National Prosecuting Authority, the Public Protector, the national police commissioner, and all Chapter 9 institutions should be appointed by a joint merit-based process that involves the executive, parliament and judiciary, and not be appointed by a president who can use his or her capacity to appoint in order to manipulate those appointed.

4. On contentious issues of national interest, such as going to war, the state should design a quicker, more efficient system to use recurrent referenda to gauge public opinion and sentiments on what the country needs to do.