The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) was founded in July 2013 by Julius Malema. Malema was a former ANC Youth League president when he was expelled from the ANC ruling party.
The EFF was formed with the aim of “bringing together revolutionary, militant activists, community-based organisations as well as lobby groups under the umbrella of the political party pursuing the struggle of economic emancipation.”
The party sees economic freedom as total ownership of economic and natural resources by the previously oppressed and exploited majority.
In 2014, it secured 1 169 259 votes (6.35%) in the general election – translating to 25 seats in the National Assembly and 7 seats in the National Council of Provinces.
The EFF contested the 2016 Municipal elections getting 3 202 679 (8.31%). The party won a total of 28 seats in municipalities with at least 1 seat in each province.
During the 2019 general elections, the party increased the number of its MPs to 44.
The party calls for the nationalisation of mines, banks and other strategic sectors of the economy, as well as the expropriation of land without compensation in order to undo the oppression which resulted from colonial domination.
The party advocates for free education, housing, healthcare and sanitation.
EFF’s 2016 Local Government Elections
In the 2016 Local Government Elections – its first – the EFF secured 8.2% of vote-share or 761 seats nationally. The EFF got 2,446,662 Ward and PR votes in total. However, it was unable to secure any councils.
The EFF emerged as kingmaker in a number of municipalities. In key metros such as Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay, for example, the EFF supported the DA in principle, permitting it to get control of those metros for the first time since 1994.
For its first-ever local government elections, the party scored more than 10% of all votes in three provinces: Limpopo, Gauteng and North West. It is the third most popular party behind the DA and the ANC.