Azania: Economic Freedom Fighters Peoples Declaration


We will be embarking on land occupation struggles

Declaration by the Economic Freedom Fighters in Azania/South Africa

17 December 2014

Fighters say they will also lead radical and militant protests to the mines

Economic Freedom Fighters Peoples Declaration of the First National People’s Assembly  13 – 16 December 2014

We the delegates of the National People’s Assembly, gathered at the University of the Free State, Mangaung, representing more than 500 000 members of this vanguard of the Economic Emancipation Movement from all the provinces of South Africa in towns and townships, informal settlements and rural areas, workplaces and campuses, come together under the theme of People’s Power for Economic Freedom.

We meet at the University of the Free State whose accommodation of the EFF First Peoples Assembly represents a strong statement of institutional autonomy and academic freedom that are everywhere being undermined. We gather in Mangaung, the centre of the country and a home of the Economic Emancipation Movement.

We gather in the name of the interests of the people who are the dejected and neglected masses, the unemployed youth and adults, the security guards and domestic workers, the petrol attendants, farmworkers, mineworkers, civil servants and professionals of all kind to unify them across classes, races and geographic spread for people’s power for economic freedom.

We proclaim that out of relative obscurity, we as this generation have discovered our mission and will do everything in our power to attain our mission.

We affirm our historic mission which is the attainment of economic freedom in our lifetime which we shall fulfil by any means necessary. This historic mission is anchored by the seven none-negotiable pillars which express our socialist revolutionary vision in the immediate, expressed in our primary program, the EFF Founding Manifesto:

  •  Expropriation of South Africa’s land without compensation for equal redistribution in use.
  •  Nationalization of mines, banks, and other strategic sectors of the economy, without compensation.
  •  Building state and government capacity, which will lead to the abolishment of tenders.
  •  Free quality education, healthcare, houses, and sanitation.
  •  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, close the apartheid wage gap and promote rapid career paths for Africans in the workplace.
  • Massive development of the African economy and advocating for a move from reconciliation to justice in the entire continent.
  • Open, accountable, corrupt-free government and society without fear of victimisation by state agencies.

Millions of our people remain homeless and landless in the country of their own birth and majority of the land remains in the hands of beneficiaries of colonial apartheid land theft. We shall embark on land occupation struggles to end homelessness and landlessness amongst the poor, including fighting against all the evictions of farmworkers.

We shall remain robust and militant in our revolutionary parliamentary strategy which is based on ensuring the radical transformation of the institution in the interest of the people. Parliament must become a parliament of the people and pass laws that shall lead to a just and truly equal society. The EFF shall ensure that parliament holds the executive accountable in terms of the usage of state resources and that every single cent is used to better the lives of all, particularly the poor.

In line with the mission of attaining state power to further the agenda of economic freedom, the EFF will contest the local government elections with the view to win them as a step towards total takeover in 2019 general elections. Every municipality, every ward and very community shall be contested with credible candidates approved through robust consultations with the people. In the immediate, all outstanding EFF branches in all wards of South Africa must be launched, and EFF must exist everywhere; in farms, workplaces, campuses, villages, and all informal settlements.

We as delegates commit to fight for the immediate criminalisation of base erosion, profit shifting and transfer pricing, because these are phenomena that are robing South Africa of massive potential wealth.

In the immediate, the EFF shall lead radical and militant protests to Mines to demand that Mines should provide basic services in their surrounding communities. Added to protests to government institutions, the EFF should lead protests directly to huge corporations to demand specific concessions and programmes that will uplift the conditions of our people.

We call for localisation and that all the goods and services consumed in South Africa should be locally produced. Retail stores must be compelled by law to procure their goods and services locally and government should be pushed to only buy locally produced goods and services.

As acclaimed in the Founding Manifesto of the EFF, the EFF will openly associate with and lead programmes that allocate land to landless people and masses. We will never stand by and watch when our people are congested in informal settlements and nearby land is unoccupied because it is owned by those who stole it. We will also encourage and provide strategic support to communities that seek to engage in small scale agriculture, and other forms of co-operatives in order to alleviate the extreme levels of poverty that define our people.

We reaffirm our call on Morocco to end its occupation and colonisation of Western Sahara. In the same breath, we call on the Apartheid state of Israel to end its racist occupation of Palestinian lands, and join on the call for the international isolation of the Israel through boycotts, divestment and sanctions until they end the occupation. Furthermore, we join the international call on the release of the Cuban Five and lifting of the trade embargo on the Cuba and its people. We also call on the democratisation of Swaziland, and for the Boycott of the dictator Ian Khama of Botswana who is using state power to suppress revolutionaries and all who are critical of his government, including his restriction of EFF leadership from visiting Botswana.

We conclude our assembly on the 16th of December 2014 which is the day of reconciliation, and thus express our selves that genuine reconciliation is only possible with the uncompromising attainment of the seven cardinal pillars as expressed in the EFF Founding Manifesto. That South Africa shall only be a just society under the socialist vision of Peoples Power for Economic Freedom.

We reaffirm our unity as a movement, and vow to guard against staff riders, and unrepentant opportunism which seeks to hold this revolutionary vanguard movement at ransom. Our unity shall be continuously shaped in struggle, with a full commitment to democratic processes as expressed in the constitution of the EFF. EFF remains the hope and aspiration of the poor and unemployed and we shall defend this to the end.

Political education of all our members shall be the priority of the movement at all times, because we accept the observation by Thomas Sankara that a soldier without political and ideological training is a potential criminal. A fighter without rigorous and active political consciousness becomes vulnerable to counter-revolutionary capture and lumpen radicalism. Our radicalism shall always be based on revolutionary discipline. This is way beyond what any single individual acting alone, or even a loose affiliation of individuals could ever achieve. We shall always strive to thrash out our differences, be faithful to the revolutionary ideas of the organisation through good and bad times and through this whole process look out for each other. In this way we shall express our revolutionary outlook and collectivity while at the same time boosting the revolutionary morale of membership and society as whole.

We, as delegates are committed to building working class unity in South Africa, where all progressive working class formations should unite for the struggle for socialism, and attainment of the 7 cardinal pillars. Working class unity is however not mechanical, but unity behind a common political programme, which in the immediate should include removal of the ruling party from political office through elections and all other popular means possible.

We shall ensure to cover every corner of South Africa, village to village, township to township, suburb to suburb, kraal to kraal, city to city, and everywhere where there is human life to speak and preach the message for economic freedom in our lifetime. We will use all modes of transport to get to where we should preach the message of economic freedom. We will use bicycles, donkey-carts, cars, lorries, trucks, buses, trains, planes, helicopters, ships, boats and all forms of transport spreading the word for economic emancipation in our lifetime.

We will use all channels to communicate the outcomes of this historic National People’s Assembly and ensure that all progressive forces are mobilised behind the socialist programme for economic freedom in our lifetime. We are a generation of economic freedom fighters and we shall overcome!

— Statement issued by the Economic Freedom Fighters, December 17 2014


  1. EFF policy evolves into programme of black capitalists
    The hysteria in the capitalist press is actually obscuring the fact that the EFF’s policies are being subjected to a systematic process of dilution. It has been watered down from the red revolutionary anti-capitalist pre-election campaign rhetoric to the distinctly pink, reformist language of a party that wants to portray itself as more “responsible”. Its first act, upon taking up its seats in the national assembly was to jettison its commitment not to accept the creature comforts of parliamentary salaries and benefits using the spurious argument that the policy was meant to take effect only if they had won the elections.
    It has followed that betrayal by “clarifying” its nationalisation policy. The EFF no longer stands for the wholesale nationalisation of the banks; it is in favour of a state bank leaving intact the domination of the SA economy by its most parasitic sector. It wants workers to be given a stake in private companies not to expropriate them.
    The EFF is increasingly seeking not to abolish capitalism, but to find an accommodation within it. This explains the logic of its R4,500 minimum wage demand, a figure adjusted to suit the appetites of capital. It explains its appeals at the JSE for business to sponsor education. It accounts for the abandonment of its policy of nationalisation of the banks, the mines and the factories in sharp contrast to their agreement with WASP in the talks about possible electoral cooperation which they initiated and scuppered when they failed to persuade us to liquidate ourselves politically. The EFF had then fully agreed with WASP on nationalisation of the commanding heights of the economy under the democratic control and management of the working class.
    The stridency of the EFF’s radical anti-capitalist rhetoric conceals the reality that its policy is to create the conditions for the more rapid development of a black capitalist class. In that sense it shares the same historical aims as the ANC. Its policies reflect the frustrations of the emergent black capitalist class over the continued crushing domination of the economy by white monopoly capital after more than two decades of democracy. Malema repeatedly cites the fact that only around 10% of the JSE is owned by blacks as a prime example of the ANC’s failure to redistribute wealth concentrated in white hands during the apartheid era. Just as the Nationalist Party used the state under apartheid to develop an Afrikaner bourgeoisie, so too, the EFF seeks to accelerate the development of a black bourgeoisie.
    Yet without the policy it has now abandoned – nationalisation of the commanding heights of the economy — it will not be possible to expropriate the R1.5 trillion that lies idle in corporate bank accounts, nor to seize the R1.8 trillion held by the Public Investment Corporation for the benefit of capital, nor to arrest the wholesale pillage of the country’s resources by foreign and domestic corporations through capital flight — legal and illegal. This would require a full frontal confrontation with capital, something the EFF is more clearly signalling as an assurance to capital it has no appetite for. The expropriation of the land is all that is left of the EFF’s radicalism. But the logic of its policies on industry and the banks, which dominate agri-business, means in time that policy too must fall.

  2. Socialist Fight is pleased to republish this article by comrade Weizmann exposing the reformist defence of capitalism and bogus ‘socialism’ of EFF leader Julius Malema. It might seem trite to mention the lack of internationalist perspective in the article but its importance lies in the very big numbers of trade union and community militants who follow the ideology of left Stalinism.
    Left Stalinists are often the best militants in SA and whilst they will be very susceptible to Trotskyist propaganda about the benefits of overthrowing capitalism and planning the economy they tend to dismiss the last element of the theory of Permanent Revolution. Trotsky believed that a new workers’ state would not be able to hold out against the pressures of a hostile capitalist world unless socialist revolutions quickly took hold in other countries as well.
    This theory was advanced in opposition to the position held by the Stalinist faction within the Bolshevik Party of “socialism in one country” and the theory of “stages” in revolutions—first bourgeois-democratic and later a socialist revolution.
    In practice for Stalinists, from Mandela to Zuma and now Malema, that second stage was never now. It was on this basis that Zuma massacred the Marikana miners and the South African Communist party supported him. We are sure comrade Weizmann makes these points elsewhere but we think it is always necessary to put polemics in that context given the history of betrayal of the ANC and the SACP precisely with this defence.
    Weizmann Hamilton is a Marxist and General Secretary of the Workers and Socialist Party. WASP works closely with the Socialist Youth Movement which is working towards unifying students nationally in a Free Education Movement. WASP is represented on the Steering Committee of the Movement for Socialism and the National Coordinating Committee of the United Front.

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