What the FF happened? They did slaan terug (sort of)
The FF Plus says it has finally hit on a formula that works
The FF Plus has credited its electoral growth to clear messaging on policy issues such as land reform and the mistakes committed by its rival parties.
The FF Plus gained a lot of ground in the 2019 national election and was well on course to be among the five largest parties in the incoming parliament at 6pm on Thursday night after more than 52% of the national votes had been counted.
At the time, FF Plus had scored 228,000 votes, 2.7% of the total vote, much higher than the 165,000 it obtained in 2014.
This put them above the IFP that stood at 188,058 votes, representing 2.4% early last night.
The party ran an aggressive elections campaign that called on its supporters to “slaan terug” (fight back), seen as their response to the ANC’s policy on expropriation of land without compensation.
FF Plus chairperson Anton Alberts said he believed the support was because of the party’s stance on land reform.
“You must remember when the ANC talks about changing section 25 of the constitution, it means all property rights,” he said.
Alberts said most of the FF+ support came from white voters, but they did make inroads in coloured areas.
“People were looking for a champion who would say straight out that we are not going to allow expropriation of land without compensation,” he said.
Gauteng provincial leader Jaco Mulder credited the improvement in support to the party’s clear position on the protection of interests of the minority groups.
“We had a good and active campaign. We had a lot of meetings at grassroots level and spoke to communities and made use of social media. Our message was very clear to the voters: we are standing up against corruption, and we’re standing up for minority rights. More and more people who are in support of minority rights or feel oppressed are extending their hands towards FF Plus,” he said.
Mulder said the party had been very clear on its position on expropriation without compensation.
“It’s one issue that we really hit very hard on. Another thing is that I think the DA made a lot of mistakes. I think their traditional support base found it hard to establish what the DA was all about and that helped us.”
Mulder said the party was already in a coalition in Johannesburg and Tshwane metro.
“We are willing to work with parties that share our value system. No, we wouldn’t be going into a coalition with the EFF, but partners like the DA, Cope, IFP and ACDP are definitely a possibility,” he said.
In the fifth parliament, the FF+ had four seats.