ANC must walk the talk
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.