As South Africa’s third-largest political party turns eight years tomorrow, it is now looking to cement itself as a challenger to the ANC and take over government.
This week, the party’s deputy president Floyd Shivambu sat down with the Sunday Independent to reflect on the past eight years and share plans for the future.
Shivambu believes that the party will be in government in the next ten years.
“With the consistency that defines the party and strengthening internal systems, it looks like we are going to be in power within the next ten years. We are going to be an outright winner of elections.
“If not in the 2024 general elections, most definitely in 2029, the EFF will be in government alone. Our growth trajectory has been very inspiring,” he said.
Shivambu said the ambitious goal was inspired by the growth trajectory that has seen the party existing in 90% of the wards in the country and a solid membership base.
“One other thing we got from our latest internal report is that we are now formally existing in more than 90% of wards with memberships that are not duplicates and know what is expected from them.
“We have a physical presence which is the most important aspect for any organisation to have. If you are not in the wards, who is going to campaign for you,” he said.
Shivambu added that the EFF is here to stay and continue reshaping the political landscape if history is anything to go by. The party prides itself on how it has managed to bring many controversial topics and open debate.
“The land question is on top of the agenda because of the EFF; people are starting to talk about the economy of SA because we have an economic emancipation movement and just how we hold those in power accountable is impactful,” Shivambu said.
On how they had managed to avoid the “curse” of parties started after 1994 that fail to sustain themselves, Shivambu said the ability to manage and deal with internal squabbles was imperative.
He said that allowed the EFF to avoid the history of parties such as the United Democratic Movement (UDM) and Cope.
“Almost all organisations that were formed after 1994 couldn’t get to sustain themselves for a long time. The UDM is living in the shadow of its former self. It used to run a municipality, now they only have two or three members of Parliament.
“Cope started with 35 members of Parliament now they have two, in the next elections, they will have zero. The NFP tried to move in another direction and its no longer existing. Many thought we would take the same route, and people were correct to be concerned with the collapse of new political organisations.
“They thought of giving their faith to the EFF gradually and that’s why the first elections we got 1 million votes and second elections we got 1.2 million votes and the 3rd, 1.8 million votes. We are growing gradually but in a proper sustainable way, which is our path to power.”