Comprehensive plan for the SANDF in EFF manifesto

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Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) elections manifesto runs to a lengthy 260 pages with plans of action for, among others, land; jobs; energy, education; health; mining, science and technology, and defence.

The EFF “plan of action” for what it terms the “National Defence Force” stretches to 534 words covering 25 points.

It reads: “The EFF government shall stand firm in its commitment to advancing the interests and sovereignty of the people of South Africa while progressively working towards a common security system for the entire African continent”.

“The EFF government will understand that the military is not the enemy and that the enemy is white monopoly capital. The EFF government understands that there are a lot of issues affecting the military that need to be sorted out.

“The EFF government shall build a strategic and working relationship with the military. The EFF government will engage with the military to inculcate a sense of patriotism and loyalty to the country and to the people of South Africa, not loyalty to politicians and political offices.

“The EFF government will increase the defence budget so that the proposals in the National Defence Forces are implemented. The EFF government will carry out a comprehensive modernisation programme for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to ensure it remains agile and responsive to contemporary security challenges. The EFF government will give a specific mandate to the SANDF to protect the country from external threats, including dealing with illegal firearms coming into the country through borders.

“The EFF government will ensure that the military collaborates with progressive countries such as China and Russia to transfer knowledge, create joint ventures, and facilitate technological exchange.

“The EFF government will reform the recruitment process to attract and retain highly qualified individuals. The EFF government will hire additional new military personnel. The EFF government will hire all military reservists permanently. The EFF government will intensify the training of military personnel and instil discipline. The EFF government will improve the remuneration of military personnel. The EFF government will advocate for increased investment in advanced surveillance systems, communication networks, and cybersecurity capabilities to enhance the SANDF’s situational awareness and rapid response capabilities. The EFF government will renew focus on enhancing deterrence capabilities and foster regional co-operation to address common security challenges. The EFF government will actively participate in regional peace and stability efforts, as well as contribute to international peace support missions. The EFF government will intensify training and capacity-building within the SANDF to prepare for these critical peacekeeping operations.

“The EFF government will bail out Denel and Armscor to ensure that they are fully functional, and must locally manufacture military equipment. The EFF government will reclaim all the intellectual property of Denel that was sold to private companies or other countries. The EFF government will ensure that all military equipment is serviced. The EFF government will ensure that new military equipment is purchased. The EFF government will support a strong and sustainable defence industry in South Africa that promotes local defence firms and fosters innovation. The EFF government will initiate efforts to encourage research and development, as well as international co-operation in defence trade and technology transfer.

“The EFF government shall mandate that each person undergo compulsory military training for a year or six months after matriculation, offering life skills and discipline.”

Combating crime

The EFF also goes into detail regarding fighting crime, saying an EFF government will base its approach to policing on the seven cardinal pillars of an open, accountable, corruption-free government, fostering a society free from fear of victimisation by state agencies.

“The EFF government will approach crime fighting with the understanding that crime is a socio-economic issue, aiming to eradicate it by economically developing communities and providing quality jobs and careers to those involved in criminal activities.”

The EFF manifesto has detailed plans to strengthen the police. An EFF government aims to employ an additional 100 000 police officers by 2026 and purchase an additional 7 000 police vehicles by 2027, on the condition that 50% of all parts are made in South Africa. All broken police vehicles will be repaired by 2025. “The EFF government will ensure that there are police cars with police officers that are tactically trained in all off-ramps, on-ramps, regional boundaries, and provincial boundaries.”

Police officers will be rewarded with bonuses for apprehending dangerous criminals, be given higher salaries to improve morale and reduce corruption, be given a standby allowance for extra police presence, and be subjected to mandatory fitness assessments every 24 months, with those found unfit dismissed from their positions.

The EFF government will increase police visibility in all communities, including routine and regular visibility in informal settlements, townships, rural areas and urban areas. “The EFF government will, by 2029, establish satellite police stations that will be open 24 hours a day and seven days a week in every ward of the country where there currently is no police station. The EFF government will re-open police and satellite police stations in Marabastad, Zandspruit, Kocksoord, Azaadville, Morula Sun, Melville, Zithobeni, Thembelihle, Tshepisong, Slovopark, and Mathole in Gauteng by 2027. The EFF government will re-open police and satellite police stations in Siyathemba, Emjindini, Botleng, Tjakastad, Kwazamokuhle, Msogwaba, Daanjie, Hectorspuit, Lebohang, Badfontein, Dundonald, Phola, Thuthukani, Phungutsha, and Kamhlushwa in Mpumalanga by 2027.”

Other efforts to strengthen law enforcement include employing highly qualified detectives; analysing crime patterns and trends; ensuring that the loss of a docket leads to immediate dismissal; introducing a new police training curriculum; and strengthening the fight against gender-based violence by upskilling police officers, providing counselling services, and DNA kits.

“The EFF government will deploy a special task team to deal with gangsterism and drugs in places such as the Cape Flats in Cape Town, Eldorado, Westbury, Hillbrow, and Yeoville.” It will also engage in consistent roadblocks, including stop-and-search operations to fight the transportation of drugs, illegal firearms, retrieve stolen vehicles, apprehend wanted suspects, and identify drunk drivers, with a zero tolerance approach to drunk driving.

An EFF government will improve the capacity of crime intelligence to include the usage of technology to solve crimes, such as the installation of CCTV cameras with artificial intelligence and face recognition, and ensure that police have body cameras and vehicle dashboard cameras and radios.

“The EFF government will train, remunerate, supply uniforms, torches, and bulletproof vests to Community Policing Forums and municipal street patrollers across the country and encourage the formation of crime watch and street committees in crime hotspot communities and areas. The EFF government will give rewards to citizens who submit evidence depicting alleged criminal activities, including drug dealing, social crimes, and domestic violence.”

“The EFF government will enhance Police Foot Patrols in densely populated areas to improve visibility and strengthen community relationships. This approach aims to foster trust and cooperation between residents and the police, making officers more approachable and responsive to the specific needs of these communities.”

Other highlights from the EFF’s crime fighting portion of its manifesto include:
Racism shall be declared a punishable criminal offence.
The EFF government will introduce a specialised unit to deal with the problem of stock theft in rural and farming areas, as part of its massive drive for rural development.
The EFF government will increase the sentences for rhino poaching, perpetrators of gender-based violence, murders, rapists and anyone who defrauds the state.
The EFF government will ensure that all immigrants shall be registered and have their fingerprints captured by the new Department of Home Affairs and Internal Security.
The EFF government will establish a DNA database for all South Africans to fight crime.
The EFF government will introduce an annual day of joint operation between all law enforcement agencies (South African Police Services, South African National Defence Force, Intelligence and Immigration officers) to visit houses and conduct searches for illegal firearms.