Cyril of­fers ‘new deal’

Ramaphosa He launched his eco­nomic blueprint in Soweto this week in the run-up to the elec­tive con­fer­ence

The Times (South Africa) - - Business - By CLAUDI MAILOVICH

● The ANC’s abil­ity to over­come eco­nomic chal­lenges has been “un­der­mined over the last decade by a fail­ure of lead­er­ship and mis­guided pri­or­i­ties”, Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa said this week, tak­ing a swipe at Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma.

Ramaphosa launched his eco­nomic blueprint in Orlando town­ship, Soweto, in the run-up to the De­cem­ber elec­tive con­fer­ence at which he will seek to be­come the gov­ern­ing party’s pres­i­dent. CYRIL RAMAPHOSA Deputy Pres­i­dent of South Africa

The for­mer trade union­ist pro­posed set­ting up a special anti-cor­rup­tion ap­pro­pri­a­tion fund to chan­nel the re­cov­ered pro­ceeds from cor­rup­tion — “which has been stolen from our state-owned en­ter­prises” — to youth train­ing and em­ploy­ment ini­tia­tives.

Ramaphosa said the im­pact of po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship on the econ­omy “is a re­al­ity that we, as the ANC, need to ac­knowl­edge and cor­rect”. “For the first time since the ad­vent of democ­racy, there is a real chance that the trans­for­ma­tion of our coun­try may suf­fer sig­nif­i­cant re­verses. This should worry us”.

The 64-year-old politi­cian said the tra­jec­tory of South Africa needed to be changed with what he called a “new deal”.

He pro­posed a 10-point plan that put the cre­ation of de­cent jobs at the cen­tre of pol­icy pro­grammes and ac­tion — with an un­re­lent­ing fo­cus on grow­ing the econ­omy.

He said the econ­omy would not cre­ate jobs un­less it grew. The tar­get for gross do­mes­tic prod­uct growth should be 3% next year, ris­ing to 5% growth by 2023.

Ramaphosa de­vi­ated from his pre­pared speech mul­ti­ple times, say­ing state-owned en­ter­prises were be­ing looted. The econ­omy could not be in the hands of a few, he said, specif­i­cally men­tion­ing “fam­i­lies” — an ob­vi­ous ref­er­ence to the Gupta fam­ily.

Asked about the res­ig­na­tion of Michael Sachs as the Trea­sury’s bud­get chief, he said it was “most un­for­tu­nate”.

Ramaphosa said he would talk to Fi­nance Min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba about desta­bil­i­sa­tion of the na­tional Trea­sury.

“The econ­omy could not be in the hands of a few fam­i­lies”

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