EFF’s signal that it is open to coalitions may be a policy shift
Julius Malema says although the first prize for the red berets is to govern Gauteng, North West and Limpopo, it is now open to talks
The EFF says it is aiming to govern in Gauteng, the North West and Limpopo after the May 8 general elections.
The party is currently the official opposition in the North West and Limpopo, and is the third-largest party in Gauteng.
Gauteng is expected to be the main electoral battleground in the coming elections, with opposition parties hoping to push the ANC below the majority it currently holds.
The ANC lost the key metros of Tshwane and Johannesburg and narrowly won Ekhuruleni via a coalition with the African Independence Congress. In all the ANC losses in the province, the EFF played the kingmaker role. It gave its support in the election of DA mayors in the Tshwane and Johannesburg metros and other smaller municipalities but did not form any formal coalitions. It also did not take up positions in the government.
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In what could be a policy shift, the party said on Wednesday it was now ready to go into coalitions. Its leader, Julius Malema, told the media that his party was now open to go into coalitions with both the ANC and the DA after the May 8 polls — “depending on what they are offering”. He said the EFF was not yet talking to anyone in terms of coalitions.
Malema said that although the EFF’s first prize was to be in the government in those provinces, it was now open to coalitions.
This is the second general election the EFF will be contesting and is expected to grow its national support. In 2014 the party received 6.35% of the vote. Five years later pollsters are putting the party closer to 11%.
He said that his party would go into a coalition with any party, including the ANC, the DA, Cope and the IFP in KwaZulu-Natal if need be, but that this would depend on talks and what was on offer. “If they [voters] don’t give us a mandate, they will force us to work with the confusions,” Malema said.
He said the ANC, when speaking to whites on the land issue, spoke more in line with the DA’s policy. But when it spoke to black people it was more aligned with the EFF policies. He said when President Cyril Ramaphosa comes to the EFF after the elections his party will raise expropriation of land without compensation, nationalisation and renaming Cape Town International as Winnie Mandela International Airport “otherwise there will be a problem”.
On the DA, Malema said the party’s campaign against the EFF had been personal. “Their attack on the EFF makes it extremely impossible to even pick up a phone and call them,” he said. Malema said the DA laid a complaint calling for EFF’s posters to be removed in the Western Cape and campaigned with the message that the EFF and the ANC must be stopped.