ANC must ex­plain RET, says Gi­gaba

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - SIVIWE FEKETHA

FI­NANCE Min­is­ter and ANC national ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­ber Malusi Gi­gaba has ad­mit­ted that the gov­ern­ing party has been found want­ing in ex­plain­ing its rad­i­cal eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion (RET) pol­icy.

Ad­dress­ing a break­fast brief­ing or­gan­ised by Pro­gres­sive Youth in Busi­ness in East Lon­don yes­ter­day, Gi­gaba said the ANC had only been able to give a “high school def­i­ni­tion” of the pol­icy.

“We talk about it, but if you ask two peo­ple what it means, you are likely to get two different an­swers. We have done lit­tle be­yond giv­ing RET a high school def­i­ni­tion up to the con­fer­ence,” he noted.

Gi­gaba said busi­ness peo­ple only un­der­stood RET to mean black eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment, while oth­ers had their own un­der­stand­ing.

He said this would cre­ate prob­lems as it would be dif­fi­cult for the ANC to en­sure ef­fec­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion of the pol­icy.

“If our un­der­stand­ing can­not go deeper, we are go­ing to com­mit fun­da­men­tal mis­takes.

“After 10 years we will be look­ing back, won­der­ing where did we go wrong”

He said while the over­whelm­ing sup­port for RET was com­mend­able, it was wrong that it hadn’t been given a clear mean­ing for all to un­der­stand and help im­ple­ment.

“When we en­gaged in the Strug­gle we did far bet­ter to the­o­rise the Strug­gle in which we were in­volved to over­throw the sys­tem of white supremacy than we are do­ing now.

“If you talk to peo­ple, some will say RET means oc­cupy all va­cant land and oth­ers will say it means BEE, which is a min­i­mal­ist ap­proach,” Gi­gaba said.

The brief­ing was or­gan­ised as part of ac­tiv­i­ties lead­ing up to the ANC’s 106th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions, which will take place to­mor­row at the Buf­falo City Sta­dium, where party pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa will de­liver the Jan­uary 8 State­ment.

Gi­gaba was ac­com­pa­nied by East­ern Cape Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment MEC Sakhumzi Somyo.

Ahead of last month’s ANC national elec­tive con­fer­ence, Ramaphosa and for­mer AU Com­mis­sion chair­per­son Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma both endorsed RET but gave it dis­tinc­tive mean­ings.

While Ramaphosa fo­cused on shared eco­nomic growth and fight­ing cor­rup­tion, Dlamini Zuma fo­cused on rad­i­cal change of own­er­ship pat­terns of the econ­omy, in­clud­ing ex­pro­pri­a­tion of land with­out com­pen­sa­tion.

Gi­gaba said the gov­ern­ing party had an ur­gent task of pro­vid­ing a bet­ter and more elab­o­rate un­der­stand­ing of RET to help South Africans as­sist in its proper im­ple­men­ta­tion in which­ever sec­tor of so­ci­ety they be­longed to.

He called on young busi­ness peo­ple to stop ex­pect­ing to ben­e­fit from RET but to con­trib­ute to its cre­ation. “This means that you must move be­yond break­fasts and gala din­ners. You must roll up your sleeves.

“You must not ab­solve your­selves from de­vel­op­ing ideas; you be­long right in that realm where ideas are de­vel­oped.”

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