EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu says the party will look at alternative funding models to finance the organisation and its plans to expand its network across the country.
Shivambu, speaking on Monday at a briefing ahead of the EFF’s second national people’s assembly (NPA), said delegates would consider growing the party’s presence in areas it currently had low or no representation.
The elective and policy conference will consider how to deepen the EFF’s roots across all provinces, regions and branches.
In its discussion documents for the NPA, the party notes that it “is not yet fully established in all corners of South Africa with branches and revolutionary activists who understand and are passionate about its mission”.
Its documents also note that it “does not own the buildings it uses as offices at all levels”.
“The EFF is still not present in many of the voting districts in South Africa,” the document reads under a chapter titled “Organisational character and re-design”.
When asked how the party intended funding its expansion, Shivambu said it would look at participating in businesses in which it would not have a conflict of interest, such as leasing properties it purchased.
He cited the EFF’s recent purchase of a property on Gandhi Square in Johannesburg.
Shivambu, referring to ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa’s fundraising for his 2017 presidential campaign, said the party does not want to be reliant on private donors who would want to dictate EFF policy and positions.
“We want to build our own capacity to self-sustain the organisation.”
EFF leaders, most notably Shivambu and leader Julius Malema, have found themselves in the eye of a storm surrounding the alleged funnelling of funds – linked to the collapse of VBS Mutual Bank – to fund their lifestyles.
Malema, Shivambu and the party have denied they benefited from money stolen from the bank.
Meanwhile, Shivambu said the EFF aimed to build an organisation that had a “life of its own” and was not reliant on any leader.
The deputy president was responding to a question centred on criticism the EFF was overly reliant on Malema, its most recognisable leader.
While different factions have lobbied for most of the positions in the party’s top six, all groupings support Malema’s re-election as president, noting the organisation would weaken without the former ANC Youth League president.
Shivambu suggested the EFF could learn from the ANC, which could still win elections with different leaders.
He said the red berets were still in their “formative stage” and would look to develop more quality leaders from the current pool of politicians guiding the party.