Massive protected industrial development to create millions of sustainable jobs, including the introduction of minimum wages in order to close the wage gap between the rich and the poor.
1. Within the context of a state-led industrial policy, the state should protect infant industries, particularly in areas where the country does not enjoy competitive advantages. The industrialisation South Africa should adopt ought to be both export-led and import-substituting industrialisation. It is an open secret that South Africa continues to export natural resources and import virtually all finished goods and services. South Africa’s 10 biggest exports to China are natural and raw materials while our imports from China are finished goods and services. This should change and internal capacity must be built, in collaboration with established industrial and manufacturing corporations, in order to locally manufacture the goods and services we currently import from other economies. This will lead to industrial and manufacturing investments by corporations that manufacture the goods and services we currently import, further building internal skills capacity to expand on these areas.
2. In all other industries, the state should introduce, through legislation, minimum wages, which will better the living conditions of the people. The areas that need immediate focus include, but are not limited to mine workers, farm workers, private security guards, domestic workers, cleaners, petrol attendants, waiters and waitresses, and Retail stores workers. The approach should also lead to the abolishment of Labour Brokers.
3. South Africa’s inequalities are, among other things, a result of the wage gap between top managers and ordinary workers. This, therefore, means that levels of underemployment are at a crisis level because an absolute majority of workers are not adequately remunerated. This should change, and, as an immediate programme and plan, a set of minimum wages on all sectors of the South African economy should be enacted into laws, binding all sectors. The EFF rejects the orthodoxy that minimum wages cause unemployment. We believe that minimum wages are a primary instrument against poverty, serve to lift domestic demand for domestic goods and services, and are one of the important tools through which the people of South Africa will share in the country’s wealth.
4. Economic Freedom Fighters will fight not through boardrooms and media statements but through mass-based campaigns in support of organised workers, for establishing minimum wages in all the critical sectors of the South African economy and society as a means of bettering many people’s lives. By fighting for increases in minimum wages, the EFF will organise and play a leading role in the struggles of workers in various sectors, with the minimum demands of adequate minimum wages, and better working conditions.
5. The EFF will also call for legislation on incomes policy, including regulation of the pay of chief executive officers, directors, chief financial officers and managers in all sectors of the economy. Laws should be passed that executive pay should be a certain proportion of the wages of the lowest paid workers in respective firms, as one way of dealing with obscene levels of income inequality.
6.We need to talk about the recruitment and promotion of Africans in the workplace, and the opportunities for workers to move up the career ladder through opening up access to tertiary institutions so that workers with experience can benefit. In this regard, we need to refer to employment equity reports.