ANC lekgotla will focus on economic growth
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.”