EFF leader Julius Malema sings with members of his leadership after delivering the party's 2019 election manifesto at the Giant Stadium in Pretoria on February 2, 2019. File photo: PHILL MAGAKOE
EFF leader Julius Malema sings with members of his leadership after delivering the party's 2019 election manifesto at the Giant Stadium in Pretoria on February 2, 2019. File photo: PHILL MAGAKOE

The EFF is looking at 14% national growth during the much-anticipated vote on Wednesday, and the economic heartland of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal are provinces expected to do the heavy lifting.

The far-left political party, which emerged as kingmakers during the 2016 local government elections, said it was looking at maintaining its opposition status in Limpopo and North West.It described its national election campaign as having been positive and the party was hopeful it would translate into votes for the red berets come May 8.

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The EFF held its Tshela Thupa final rally at the 45,000-seat Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Sunday, where its leader Julius Malema was expected to deliver the keynote address.

EFF deputy secretary general Hlengiwe Mkhaliphi, speaking ahead of the rally, did not dispute the polls by Ipsos and the SA Institute of Race Relations (IRR), which predicted growth for the political party.

“The IRR are saying we are standing at 14%, but as EFF, from the word go, we rely on the ground forces, we rely on our work,” said an upbeat Mkhaliphi.“

“We will see where it takes us on the 8th of May. We are very positive, especially in KZN. In 2014 in KZN we got 3%, the polls say we have increased from 3% to 7%.”

In Gauteng in 2014, she said the EFF achieved a 10% growth.

“They (the polls) are saying the likelihood is that we are going to increase to 17%,” said Mkhaliphi.

“In North West and Limpopo, we are the opposition party and we are very positive that we are going to do very well in those provinces and keep the momentum of being the opposition.”

Mkhaliphi said the projected growth of 11% nationally by Ipsos was based on an old poll, and that the firm would release its new findings on Monday, May 6. She described the EFF as the government in waiting, saying they were ready for the crucial provincial and national elections.

“We are expecting 45,000 people to be here. We are expecting those people to come from Johannesburg and surrounds. We are not bussing any people from any province.”

The EFF was instrumental in election of metro mayors for Nelson Mandela Bay, Johannesburg and Tshwane in 2016. The Tshela Thupa rally, said Mkhaliphi, marked the end of their campaign and was aimed at encouraging the people to go all out and vote EFF.

She also sent condolences to Malema and his family at the passing on Saturday of his grandmother, Koko Sarah Malema, saying they had visited the firebrand politician and found that he was “very strong”.

Mkhaliphi said Malema would emphasise the EFF’s election manifesto themed: ‘Our land and jobs now”.

“We have been campaigning all over the country, the campaign has been very positive. Today’s event is to celebrate our hard work, (and is) signaling the end of our campaign.”

mkentanel@businesslive.co.za