POLITICS
22/03/2018 04:37 SAST | Updated 26/03/2018 18:11 SAST

What The Numbers Tell Us About EFF Support

The party was formed in 2013 and became the third biggest opposition party within 12 months.

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Economic Freedom Fighters supporters and other opposition activists gather in Pretoria, on April 12, 2017.

The EFF's provincial conveners in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape say their party is primed and ready to make inroads into the electorate when South Africa goes to the polls next year.

The red berets secured 1,169,259 votes in the 2014 general election, which translated into 6,35% of popular support. It didn't manage to win control of any council in the subsequent municipal elections in 2016, but received 1,217,713 votes for a share of 8,13% of popular support. The party has 25 seats in the National Assembly (more than the UDF's four and Cope's three) and has played the role of kingmaker in the councils of Tshwane, Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay.

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During the 2014 general elections the EFF had their best showing in Gauteng (10.26% support), Limpopo (10.27%), and the North-West (12.53%). It failed to gain enough traction in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, provinces which represent the stronghold of the DA and ANC respectively.

EFF provincial coordinator in Eastern Cape Yazini Tetyana told HuffPost said the party's impact is felt "on the ground" in key metropolitan municipalities like Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB).

READ: ANC/EFF In NMB: Principled Coalition, Or Unholy Alliance?

"We have had an impact on the development of various communities. We called for the release of the details of housing beneficiaries in NMB so that in each and every ward people can see who has been approved. We stood for the community in an area called Ramaphosa and raised a motion against the eviction of its people," Tetyana said.

"We fought for hawkers in NMB. And this is only since 2016. But we are dealing with people who don't want to listen to us so we cannot have the total change we want. We have submitted motions on budget demands that we expect the municipality to deliver on, but it falls on deaf ears."

He said the EFF in the province is building its structures in preparation for the 2019 election.

"We have the intention for the EFF to be felt across all wards in the Eastern Cape. Our intention is that no party gets the majority here," he said.

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Acting chairperson of the EFF in Gauteng Mandisa Mashego said the party has been seeing the levels of frustration with leadership in various municipalities throughout many of its constituencies rise.

"The majority of our constituencies are mainly impacted by local government issues and have not had any representation before us. We are represented in in all municipalities in Gauteng. We are punching above our weight and we see a direct benefit in service delivery in our communities," Mashego said.

READ: ANC Isn't Leading, It's Following The EFF, Says Malema.

"We fought for the Durban Roodepoort Deep primary school in an informal settlement for example. There is still a lot to be done but we are seeing results. In the provincial legislature, the ANC uses its majority for what they want. Despite that, we have been successful. We are also contesting the DA very robustly."

Mashego said there are signs that the EFF will grow in Gauteng's metros.

"Our own party membership in the province has grown. We have representation in almost every voting district in the province," she said.