Amcu members seen at EFF manifesto launch

Amcu members seen in this file photo. Picture: Russell Roberts. © Financial Mail
Amcu members seen in this file photo. Picture: Russell Roberts. © Financial Mail

Dozens of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) members on Saturday joined the EFF for its manifesto launch in Soshanguve.

This marks the strongest indication yet that the 250 000 member strong union is leaning towards throwing its support behind the EFF, who is expected to announce their campaign promises ahead of the national polls in May this year.

The EFF is the country’s third largest political organisation. The party won 6% of the votes in 2014 on the back of promises that included the redistribution of land to black South Africans who were dispossessed under apartheid.

Amcu has been searching for a political home for years, with its president Joseph Mathunjwa telling Business Day in January that they would “leverage their power” in an election by throwing their support behind a party which would best represent their interests.

In its 2014 elections manifesto, barely a year after its formation in July 2013, the EFF supported Amcu’s call for a R12500 minimum wage in the mining sector, a campaign pushed by the union during the deadly platinum sector strike in 2012.

Amcu members arrived at the stadium in their green attire but were encouraged to change into the EFF’s signature red t-shirts.

The party will unveil its manifesto at the 18 000 capacity Giant stadium which was filled to capacity by cheerful supporters.

EFF leader Julius Malema has said the party would focus on jobs and land, telling attendees at their gala dinner on Friday that they would issue a detailed manifesto with timelines and implementation plans.

Listen to Julius Malema deliver the EFF Manifesto:

The country’s stubbornly high unemployment rate has seen political parties scrambling for policy interventions to unlock capacity in labour absorptive sectors of the economy.

There are 9.6 million unemployed people in SA according to the expanded definition of employment that includes people who have stopped searching for jobs.

The ANC promised at its manifesto launch in Durban recently that it would create 275 000 jobs annually.

The EFF is also expected to spell out how it would implement the land expropriation without compensation policy, should it receive a governing mandate from voters.