ANC lek­gotla will fo­cus on eco­nomic growth

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - LUYOLO MKENTANE @luy­olomken­tane

IS­SUES per­tain­ing to South Africa’s eco­nomic growth, or lack thereof, are tak­ing cen­tre stage at the ANC’s na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee lek­gotla, be­ing held in Pre­to­ria.

ANC sec­re­tary-gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe said yes­ter­day the party’s leagues, al­liance struc­tures and the gov­ern­ment’s direc­tors-gen­eral were among those at­tend­ing.

The lek­gotla would also give a roadmap to the ANC’s keenly awaited na­tional elec­tive con­fer­ence in Gaut­eng in De­cem­ber, among other things.

Man­tashe said the fo­cus was on the econ­omy be­cause South Africa had been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a very dif­fi­cult pe­riod of low eco­nomic growth.

The coun­try’s econ­omy grew by a pal­try 0.5% last year and is ex­pected to grow by around 1% this year.

SA Re­serve Bank gov­er­nor Le­setja Kganyago re­cently said the econ­omy was not out of the woods yet.

On Jan­uary 8, Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma said this year the coun­try would re­alise a 2.9% eco­nomic growth, but Kganyago dif­fered, say­ing that was the pro­jected growth for the sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa and not South Africa per se.

Man­tashe said they would ap­peal to the com­mit­tees to tell them what should be done to grow the econ­omy.

He said they would be talk­ing to the min­ing and agri­cul­ture sec­tor stake­hold­ers and to what he dubbed the fourth eco­nomic rev­o­lu­tion, per­tain­ing to the “in­no­va­tion at the cut­ting edge of eco­nomic growth”.

The thorny is­sue of land re­form and re­dis­tri­bu­tion would also be looked into, said Man­tashe, adding it was crit­i­cal as it spoke to eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion and ad­dress­ing the scourge of poverty.

The cost of ac­cess­ing higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions would also be ad­dressed.

Mean­while, Man­tashe also weighed in on the R50m covert black-op­er­a­tions unit the ANC al­legedly com­mis­sioned to dis­credit op­po­si­tion par­ties dur­ing last year’s wa­ter­shed mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions.

He stated mat­ter-of-factly that the rul­ing party had noth­ing to do with the op­er­a­tion, dubbed the ANC’s war room.

The sec­re­tary-gen­eral said party mem­ber Shaka Sisulu, who al­legedly spear­headed the pro­ject, “is not work­ing for the ANC” and em­pha­sised that they were “deal­ing with” ANC gen­eral man­ager Ig­natius Ja­cobs, who has been im­pli­cated in the cam­paign.

Sisulu, who is the grand­son of late party stal­warts Wal­ter and Al­bertina Sisulu, de­nied in­volved in the scan­dal.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane had this to say: “The ANC has been ex­posed as an or­gan­i­sa­tion of peo­ple who will do any­thing to cling onto power, which it uses to en­rich a po­lit­i­cal clique in­stead of de­liv­er­ing ser­vices and im­prov­ing the lives of the cit­i­zens of South Africa.”

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