EFF eyes large tracts of open land next to city’s wealthy ar­eas – con­vener

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - JAN CRONJE

ECO­NOMIC Free­dom Fight­ers (EFF) in the Western Cape have their eyes set on tracts of open land near wealthy sub­urbs – like the Tokai for­est – to solve Cape Town’s hous­ing prob­lems.

That’s ac­cord­ing to the party’s pro­vin­cial elec­toral strate­gist, who says the EFF needs to con­vince one mil­lion Western Cape vot­ers who “go to bed hun­gry” that its eco­nomic mes­sage of na­tion­al­i­sa­tion and wealth-re­dis­tri­bu­tion is cred­i­ble enough to im­prove their lives, its pro­vin­cial elec­toral strate­gist has said.

The party’s Western Cape con­vener Nazier Paulsen, who will guide its pro­vin­cial getout-to-vote strat­egy, said po­ten­tial EFF vot­ers still lived in “con­di­tions as dire as they were un­der apartheid”, and had been let down by suc­ces­sive Western Cape gov­ern­ments.

The party wanted to win one mil­lion of the prov­ince’s es­ti­mated 2.6 mil­lion vot­ers.

In the last gen­eral elec­tion, just un­der 2 mil­lion votes were cast in the prov­ince.

Paulsen, a ju­nior lec­turer in soft­ware de­vel­op­ment at the Cape Penin­sula Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy, said the party would fo­cus in the Western Cape on wealth gaps in the runup to next year’s elec­tions.

“We want one South Africa. Not a South Africa of Clare­mont, Craw­ford and Gugulethu,” the 45 year old said.

There are large tracts of un­de­vel­oped land near wealthy sub­urbs where the party would build houses.

“If you want a re­ally fancy gar­den to go and walk about, we will build one in Gugulethu, where ev­ery­one can go.”

Paulsen said that if the party could over­come the scep­ti­cism of vot­ers who “feel for- got­ten” by the DA and ANC, and lack jobs and hous­ing, th­ese vot­ers could be­come the cor­ner­stone of the party’s pro­vin­cial vot­ing blocks.

“In 20 years of democ­racy three po­lit­i­cal par­ties have gov­erned the Western Cape, and none of them have man­aged to change the ma­te­rial con­di­tions of the masses,” he said.

“We know in cer­tain ar­eas we could dom­i­nate – you could al­most close off those ar­eas – be­cause the peo­ple have been let down by ev­ery po­lit­i­cal or­gan­i­sa­tion.”

Paulsen said the party’s unashamedly rad­i­cal eco­nomic mes­sage, which in­cludes the na­tion­al­i­sa­tion of mines into a state-owned min­ing com­pany, would help their votes tally.

He was in­sis­tent the party was plan­ning to win the prov­ince out­right, and wouldn’t use next year’s elec­tions sim­ply to test the waters.

While Paulsen didn’t want to give away in­for­ma­tion on the “blocs” where it ex­pected high sup­port, he men­tioned the Cape Flats and town­ship ar­eas.

He said that, even if other par­ties had the “will” to im­prove the lives of the poor, the coun­try’s cap­i­tal­ist eco­nomic struc­ture meant they couldn’t.

Paulsen said the party would have skills to gov­ern due to its net­work of pro­fes­sion­als.

PIC­TURE: LEON MULLER

MIL­LION VOTES: Nazier Paulsen, EFF con­vener in the Western Cape

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