ANC must walk the talk

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

PRES­I­DENT Ja­cob Zuma has hit the right notes with his party’s plans to change gear on eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion and land re­dis­tri­bu­tion. The par­tic­i­pa­tion of black peo­ple in the econ­omy can no longer be post­poned.

The ANC’s na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee Jan­uary 8 state­ment pre­sented by Zuma at the party’s 105th birth­day on Sun­day was a good start in the gov­ern­ing party fi­nally con­fronting the ob­sta­cles to eco­nomic pros­per­ity for all. That it took more than two decades for the for­mer lib­er­a­tion move­ment to wake up to the re­al­ity that it needs to speed up eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion and land re­dis­tri­bu­tion to the ma­jor­ity is in­deed an in­dict­ment, but we hope that the ANC govern­ment is go­ing to walk the talk on th­ese press­ing is­sues.

South Africa is one of the con­ti­nent’s two big­gest economies, and the most in­dus­tri­alised and mod­ernised. Its fi­nan­cial ser­vices are world class, the in­fra­struc­ture sec­ond to none on the con­ti­nent. Govern­ment pumps bil­lions into in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment and other key ar­eas, yet the black ma­jor­ity con­tinue to eat the crumbs while a mi­nor­ity en­joys the full ben­e­fits of our free­dom. This can no longer con­tinue.

The pie must be shared by all and govern­ment must, un­apolo­get­i­cally, make sure that for ev­ery cent it spends, the black ma­jor­ity ben­e­fit.

We are pleased to hear the pres­i­dent say R870 bil­lion has been set aside to boost eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity, and that black peo­ple will have ac­cess to this money. We hope that when he presents the State of the Na­tion ad­dress next month, more de­tail will be made avail­able on how govern­ment will make sure that the money doesn’t go into the pock­ets of the same ben­e­fi­cia­ries while black busi­nesses and black peo­ple are con­demned to the mar­gins of eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity in their own coun­try.

Our fore­fa­thers fought for this coun­try, the land and the econ­omy. We can’t, two decades later, still be talk­ing about eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion and land re­dis­tri­bu­tion as if th­ese are pipe dreams. The gov­ern­ing party has a man­date from the peo­ple to de­liver eco­nomic free­dom for all. The peo­ple have waited long enough.

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