The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in the Eastern Cape feels that the land question, as one of its seven cardinal pillars, is in the process of coming to reality. The red berets will now look into the six remaining cardinal pillars. Hot News’ Zolile Menzelwa (ZM)spoke to EFF provincial leader Yazini Tetyana (YT).
ZM: The EFF recently went to an elective conference in the Eastern Cape. Positions were contested, what are your plans to unite the factions that supported different leadership line-ups?
YT: The membership may have had varying preferences before conference but there were never really divisions. Post conference we have not experienced symptoms of pre-conference contests. All fighters are united behind the elected leadership.
ZM: This is an election year, what are some of the key resolutions that came from the Eastern Cape provincial conference with regards to elections?
YT: We are fighting for one million votes from this province alone. Our campaign has already silently begun. After the national manifesto launch rally, we will have our provincial manifesto launch rally where we will table a provincial manifesto which will outline our focal areas for this year’s elections campaign and governance.
ZM: Land expropriation without compensation is one of the key priorities for the EFF, now that it has become government policy what other policy positions will the EFF push for?
YT: We have seven non-negotiable pillars upon which the EFF draws its mandate. Now that the land question is in the process of being resolved, the next policy changes we will pursue include the remaining six cardinal pillars. We have already tabled an amendment bill for transformation of the banking sector, we will continue to fight for transfer of mineral wealth to the hands of the people, we will fight for total free and quality education, we will fight for rapid industrialization and reinvestment in manufacturing.
ZM: The Eastern Cape has improved its matric pass rate and no longer at the tail end of the national competition. What do you think can be done to further improve the quality of matric results?
YT: For education to improve we need to inculcate early childhood development into the mainstream education. We need to incentivise rural teachers to attract quality teachers to rural schools. We need to improve infrastructure, build proper libraries and laboratories in rural schools. We need to focus on improving teaching and learning technological infrastructure.
ZM: The provincial government has been failing to pay service providers within the stipulated 30 days. What do you think is the impact of this on local economic development?
YT: Failure to timeously pay service providers kills especially small enterprises. Small enterprises have limited revenue streams and when government fails to pay them, their creditors liquidate them and people lose income. Also, government loses millions on law suits over unpaid bills which in turn affects its ability to deliver services to the people including improving the economic conditions of the province.