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Size does matter: EFF aims to fill Orlando Stadium to capacity

The EFF has been drumming up support for its election manifesto launch this weekend.

EFF leader Julius Malema addressing the ‎Diepsloot‬ community ahead of the party's manifesto launch. Picture: Economic Freedom Fighters Facebook page.

CAPE TOWN - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has been drumming up support for its election manifesto launch this weekend as it aims to fill the 40,000 capacity Orlando Stadium.

It follows similar events by the party's political rivals - the African National Congress (ANC) and Democratic Alliance (DA) - in the build-up to Local Government Elections on 3 August.

The governing party could not fill the 46,000 seater Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in Port Elizabeth, while the DA drew more than 20,000 supporters to the 30,000 capacity Rand Stadium in Johannesburg.

The ANC has blamed the lower than expected turnout on transport complications.

Turnout is used to test support and a party's capacity to mobilize people ahead of an election.

Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni says when it comes to the turnout at political rallies, size does matter.

"The size of the people you draw to your manifesto and rallies is also an indication of how enthusiastic and how energised your supporters are. Whether big or small remember the turnout, especially for local government elections, is a big matter because it tends to be a critical factor, so it's an indication of enthusiasm. It's also a test of how parties are organised in terms of managing logistics because campaigning across the country, in essence, is about logistics."

He says pulling a large crowd would give a party more than just bragging rights.

"It has a psychological effect even for those you are bringing from outside because it creates a sense of momentum and those people who are undecided may believe in your message that there is momentum building."