EFF STATEMENT ON THE FOURTH ANNUAL PLENUM
Monday, February 5, 2018
The EFF held its 4th Plenum on the 2nd to the 4th of February 2018 at the Premier Hotel, OR Tambo. The plenum was attended by delegates representing the EFF regional, provincial and national leadership collectives and the public representatives from provincial legislatures and national parliament. The Plenum deliberated on a variety of issues, and declared that 2018 will be The Year of PUBLIC HEALTH CARE.
This year we take pride in our five years of existence; our indisputable unity at all levels, stability and formidability as an organisation. We note that we have come out as the most stable political organisation in South Africa with an unquestionable record of shifting the political balance of power in favour of the forces of the left, particularly the working class and poor masses of our people both in urban and rural area, township and suburbs, and informal settlements.
We have given voice, hope and a political home for domestic workers, farm workers, security guards, petrol attendants, the landless, the unemployed and all the dejected masses of our people. We have inspired the continent and all the oppressed people of the world, giving the strongest indication yet, that an alternative socialist vision still exists for a much better world in replacement of the evil system of capitalism.
In our five years, we take stock of the fact that without the formation of the EFF, it is impossible to imagine the radicalisation of students in our country. It is the formation of the EFF that inspired the consistent and fearless questioning of power which gave birth to Fees and Statues Must Fall movements across institutions of higher learning. The unity of workers and students in the struggles for insourcing, is equally impossible to imagine without the rise of the EFF.
It is on account of the EFF that today the country can speak of a peoples parliament with the necessary cutting teeth to hold both the once untouchable government, state-owned companies and private capital accountable. Parliament has become a respectable body, feared by the executives, managers of state owned companies and private capital alike. Today, the tax affairs and money movements of untouchable multinational corporations in the phenomenon of illicit financial flows, profit shifting, tax avoidance and mis-pricing, have gained a sharp public eye because of the EFF.
It is a fact that, because of the EFF, poor parents have taken their children to institutions of higher learning for free due to a historic achievement of free higher education for the poor. Today, because of the EFF, government has adopted a minimum wage policy and is in the process of establishing a state bank. Today, because of the EFF, not only has society accepted land expropriation without compensation as a principled policy to deal with land redistribution, many landless masses of our people already have land due to the countless successful land occupation struggles by EFF branches. Today it is now an ambition of local, provincial and national government to build and open clinics for 24 hours, seven day a week because of the EFF.
Having noted this impact, we vow to remain faithful to our generational mission of the attainment of economic freedom in our lifetime. We vow to remain united in struggle, always closing ranks against any forces seeking to divide and dissuade us from our mission. In keeping with our seven non-negotiable cardinal pillars, we recognise that we have fought corruption, achieved free education, land expropriation, a state bank, minimum wage even before we are government. In the same spirit, in our fifth year anniversary, and in the name of our generational mission we declare 2018 The Year of Public Healthcare.
We note that the state of public healthcare in South Africa is in a crisis. Our people go to hospitals not to get life, care, and recovery, but to be humiliated, condemned and driven to early death. Our public health institutions have no basic facilities, buildings are collapsing, machines are broken and there are no skilled healthcare practitioners. The elderly in our country no longer want to go to hospital because of the abuse they receive.
The HIV and AIDS patient are openly called in queues to receive medication, humiliating them and thus adding to the stigmatisation of HIV and AIDS. There is no care given to hygiene; our clinics and hospitals are capitals of pests, rats, pollution and are generally unclean, whilst some of our public healthcare facilities do not have water, electricity and sanitation.
It is estimated that between 2004 and 2009 17% of doctors who became qualified in that period emigrated. In 2010 there were over 81 925 nursing vacancies in the country. The consequence of this skills shortage is that 60% of nurses are too tired to work on duty. It is also a fact that the massacre that occurred under Life Esidimeni is a normal state of affairs in many hospitals across the country due to negligence and incapacity in our collapsing public healthcare system. We say this shall continue no more. Not in our name, not under our watch and not in our lifetime.
In the Year of Public Healthcare, we shall attend to each and every clinic and hospital in our country to ensure that there are facilities, skilled staff, medicine, and a caring environment that treats our people with dignity. We resolve to establish a public healthcare office that will receive daily complaints from our people. We shall ensure to respond to all complaints received in a space of 48 hours. We shall expose all public health institutions that are in a bad condition. We shall name and shame nurses, doctors and all health practitioners who are involved in negligence, corruption, and humiliation of our people. We have established an email and call on all who have information on Public Healthcare challenges to send it to: email@example.com or call 011 403 2314
We demand that bedridden patients who are in their homes receive regular visits and have their medication delivered to their homes. This must be done in the same way IEC visit them during special votes; if they can be special for votes, they must also be special for healthcare. Our community healthcare workers must be employed on a permanent basis with a minimum wage of no less than R4500.
In this year, we shall confront anti-black racism head-on. We call on our people to report all racists to the EFF, in particular racist intuitions that continue to maintain salary disparities between black and white people. All companies paying whites people more than black people for the same amount of work, qualifications and experience shall be confronted to transform. In addition, companies must empower black people in terms of ownership and control.
The EFF is the only stable and genuinely united organisation on South Africa. Other political organisations are defined by internal strife, which evidently impacts on their capacity to lead society a provide sustainable and quality services to the people. Divided organisations have no practical capacity to provide leadership to society, and should be rejected by the electorate.
The EFF believes that all State-Owned Companies should be reclaimed from the control of the Gupta criminal syndicate. The reclamation of State Owned Companies must however not mean that we should replace a tendency with another tendency. The recently appointed Board of ESKOM has people who we believe should be closely monitored. While we do not doubt the leadership capacity of Jabu Mabuza as Chairperson of ESKOM, his proximity to the Ruperts family is a cause for concern. Jabu Mabuza is too close to the Rupert empire and his son was even employed as one of the Personal Assistants of Johan Rupert.
We are further concerned about the inclusion of Sifiso Debengwa to ESKOM Board, because his proximity to and friendship with ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa is not healthy, and it is similar to the role Dudu Myeni’s relationship with Jacob Zuma played. Sifiso Debengwa is a uncomfortably too close to the ANC President and it cannot be correct that one of the major first appointments to critical boards include Sifiso Dabengwa.
Furthermore, Mark Lamberti is facing a civil case for racism and gender discrimination and should have not been appointed into ESKOM Board. We know that Mark Lamberti is facing accusations, but many people who are facing accusations of corruption in ESKOM have been pushed out of the utility and this should apply to Mark Lamberti as well. This is the message that this government views allegations of racism in a less serious light than allegations of corruption.
The EFF further notes that black people in South Africa own less than 2% of the land. Our clarion call that land must be expropriated without compensation is important and should be put into practical action in 2018. The EFF will, later this month, table for the 2nd time, a motion on expropriation of land without compensation and suggest a process towards that. Such a motion will determine whether other political parties genuinely believe in the expropriation of land without compensation. Land must be returned to its rightful owners.
We reiterate our call for the Motion of No Confidence to be heard before the State of the Nation Address. The people of South Africa do not want a criminal to deliver the SONA and the only way to remove him is through a motion of no confidence; the man is prepared to defy the leadership of the ANC. He has done it before and he will do it again.
As internationalists, we remain committed to the freedom and liberation of the people of Swaziland, Western Sahara and Palestine who are denied the right to self-determination. We take note of the collapse of Libya, we condemn, in the strongest terms, the resultant re-emergence of the slavery of African people by Arab and European slave traders. We vow to lobby for a war to be declared against the slave trade in Libya by the African Union and its member states. We call on the international community to unite against the slave trade in Libya and join the efforts to end it with immediate effect.
We note with joy the discharge of Mama Winnie Mandela from Hospital last week. We were also happy to receive the following message of support from her; “I wish to thank the leadership of the leadership of the EFF for visiting me in hospital and for the beautiful flowers. This contributed to my improved state of health. Carry on fighting for our liberation. Viva EFF.”
Statement issued by the Economic Freedom Fighters, 5 February 2018