‘Pre­pare for the worst’, says Gi­gaba’s ad­viser

CityPress - - News - MSINDISI FENGU msindisi.fengu@city­press.co.za

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba’s ad­viser, Pro­fes­sor Chris Ma­likane, has warned South Africans to be pre­pared for the worst if rad­i­cal eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion is to suc­ceed.

Ma­likane was speak­ing last night at the Blacks in Di­a­logue event at the Devon­shire Ho­tel in Jo­han­nes­burg, which was or­gan­ised by the Black First Land First move­ment.

Ma­likane re­it­er­ated his call for a new eco­nomic pol­icy and for an amend­ment to the Con­sti­tu­tion to na­tion­alise key sec­tors of the econ­omy.

“It’s true that this coun­try will plunge [into cri­sis] and be­come like Venezuela and Zim­babwe. India went through the same pain. If we are real about trans­for­ma­tion, we need to be real and strengthen our peo­ple ide­o­log­i­cally and po­lit­i­cally. We need to or­gan­ise and ed­u­cate our peo­ple. Did you think to trans­form is go­ing to be nice?” he asked.

“We need a two-thirds ma­jor­ity to change the Con­sti­tu­tion. Oth­er­wise, to achieve what we want to achieve, we need to go that route [take up arms]. Let’s try two-thirds. I don’t like war,” Ma­likane said. A de­ci­sion to take up arms would have to be dis­cussed and not be a de­ci­sion made by an in­di­vid­ual, he said.

“It’s not for me to de­cide. It’s the pro­gres­sive forces that must de­cide. My role is to unite these pro­gres­sive forces. Tak­ing up arms is one thing, but build­ing a coun­try is another,” he said.

Ma­likane added that there were black peo­ple de­fend­ing white monopoly cap­i­tal.

“Black peo­ple are not ho­moge­nous. There are op­por­tunists, who, at the sound of R1, will jump. There are classes within black peo­ple. For ex­am­ple, there are those who own farms and as­pire to be like white farm­ers. There are sec­tors within black so­ci­ety that have sold out,” he said.

Ma­likane said it was time for the coun­try to de­cide the way for­ward.

“Is there a bet­ter route to the promised land? What we need is a broad, united front,” he said.

Trade unions, stu­dent for­ma­tions and po­lit­i­cal par­ties needed to come for­ward and dis­cuss how rad­i­cal eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion should be im­ple­mented.

He said the na­tional ques­tion was based on the fact that Africans were dis­pos­sessed, dom­i­nated and ex­ploited.

He lam­basted his crit­ics, say­ing rad­i­cal eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion would be based on a demo­cratic state monopoly, and would not pro­mote wealth for a few – and the black work­ing class would have to be in­volved for it to suc­ceed.

Land – in­clud­ing pri­vate prop­erty – had to be ex­pro­pri­ated with­out com­pen­sa­tion, he said. Com­pen­sa­tion would come in the form of pay­ing for trac­tors and build­ings, not for the ac­tual land.

“We need to go to such an ex­tent that even pas­tors must pray about this pro­gramme,” he said.

Ma­likane said union fed­er­a­tions Cosatu and new for­ma­tion Saftu also pro­moted the idea of rad­i­cal eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion and agreed on the ex­pro­pri­a­tion of land with­out com­pen­sa­tion.

He also said the terms of ref­er­ence of the forth­com­ing ju­di­cial en­quiry into state cap­ture should be stretched as far back as 1985.

Ma­likane also told the gath­er­ing that he wrote his paper as a con­tri­bu­tion to the up­com­ing ANC pol­icy con­fer­ence and he hoped branches would take it up if it res­onated with them.

Chris Ma­likane

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