The Economic Freedom Fighters is a radical, fearless, anti-capitalist and militant organisation, and we are committed to the struggle of economic freedom in our lifetime. We stand with the poor and marginalised, and these include security guards, farmworkers, domestic workers, petrol attendants, teachers and many other exploited workers. Ours is a home of the radical youth who dared to dream, defied the ruling elite and challenged the status quo of exploitation, exclusion and dehumanisation. As we celebrate the 7th anniversary of our commitment to our people, we remind all in the revolution why we reject fake reconciliation for economic freedom with unwavering commitment.
South Africa has normalised poverty and exploitation, subjecting millions of black people to lives without dignity. It is these people who found a home in the EFF and cast their vote to support the generational mission of economic emancipation in our lifetime. Like our forefathers who fought for what they believed in with courage and determination, we refuse to cooperate with a system that is based on our exploitation and perpetual victimisation in the name of reconciliation- a system that only benefits those who benefited under colonialisation and apartheid.
We stand on the shoulders of greats: Mangaliso Sobukwe, Anton Lembede, Thomas Sankara, Lilian Ngoyi, Winnie Madikizela, Kwame Nkrumah, Robert Mugabe, Nelson Mandela, Patrice Lumumba, Julius Nyerere, Chris Hani, and all generations before us. They inspired a generation of women, men and youth to organise for liberation with conviction, to reject the exploitation of black people and white violence for the freedom of all our people. They asked, "what is peace without liberation?" And they fought for what they believed in.
For the past seven years, we have witnessed the unity and commitment of revolutionaries who chose to participate in politics and demonstrated options of alternative governance. Governance based on putting the interests of workers first. We fought for insourcing of workers in the City of Johannesburg, Tshwane, Nelson Mandela Bay and all over the country where we have councillors. We fought for insourcing at institutions of higher education and shops.
The last 26 years have brought black people nothing but continued exploitation, joblessness and landlessness while those who claim reconciliation continue to enjoy economic security. It is evident, as diagnosed in the EFF Founding Manifesto, that South Africa’s political freedom did not come with economic freedom, and is therefore meaningless. The descendants of white colonial settlers constitute less than 10% of the population, yet own and control more than 90% of the economy inclusive of the land, retail chain stores, banks, insurance companies, and all economic instruments. The continued racial supremacy and dominance in SA is due to the fact that the demographic minority continue to be the economic majority and black people are suppliers of cheap and easily disposable labour.
We are willing to make the hard decision and ready to die should the need arise. As the people who are still suffering the same way we did during colonialism and apartheid, we are responsible for our freedom. We have to rise as this generation and take charge of our conditions. When we stand up and confront institutional and systemic exclusion from the economy, we are always reminded that we have reconciliation.
We have to rise above peace seekers and slogan orators, and fake reconciliation to achieve tangible victory and return of our land. We must demonstrate that we are a generation of upright, brave and fearless fighters who are worthy of being trusted as leaders of society. We must with commitment and dedication defend our generational mission of economic freedom by demonstrating that we are not an opposition party, but we are ready to govern. To achieve this, we must work hard to change the attitude of our people of self-hate, inferiority and lack of confidence. We must build institutional and organisational confidence for fighters not to tolerate abuse and disrespect. We have compromised enough in the name of reconciliation.
To achieve our mission, we must trust each other with responsibility. This includes taking full responsibility and accountability for a future we want, a future of equal access to land, participating in the economy as owners of the means of production and build a united Africa. We must demand maximum discipline from ourselves and abide by the revolutionary code of conduct. We must be an image of African pride and standard of excellence which is defined by unity and organisational discipline.
To us, economic freedom is the expropriation of land without compensation for equal redistribution in use to achieve food security, decent and dignified human settlements. To us, economic freedom means nationalisation of mines, banks and other strategic sectors of the economy without compensation. This is the only way we will be able to fight the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few who do not hesitate to remind us of fake reconciliation. We need to build massive protected industries for workers to earn a decent minimum wage and eliminate the apartheid wage gap.
We must undertake this task with patience, diligence and necessary composure. We must continue to inculcate the culture of organising, activism and discipline. With the work we have achieved in parliament, racist firms and violent state institutions are well aware of the coming economic revolution. This is the only way we will survive the test of time, remain committed and achieve our generational mission of economic freedom in our lifetimes.
Let the oppressed consolidate the ground towards socialist power!
- Dlamini is secretary-general of the Economic Freedom Fighters