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The Economic Freedom Fighters of South Africa:What do they Stand for, and who Votes for them?

Ongama Mtimka
Gary Prevost


The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have emerged as a significant force in South African politics during the past eight years. Still, only a few scholarly  studies have been published analysing its ideology, strategy, and tactics, who is voting for the party, and why. The authors argue that the EFF had  emerged as a challenger to the African National Congress (ANC) by positioning itself to the left of the ruling party with a set of ideas and policy proposals  that emerged from the ANC Youth League when current EFF leader Julius Malema led it. Survey and exit polling data analysed by the authors indicate that  the EFF is gaining traction election by election with younger black voters in the townships on issues of land and jobs and, in the process, threatens  the single-party dominance of the ANC in future South African elections. However, despite a good start, the party appears to have lost some momentum  after the fall of former President Jacob Zuma and made some tactical mistakes.

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eISSN: 1995-641X
print ISSN: 0256-2804