Bid for ‘in­vest­ment from all over the world’

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - POLITICS - QUIN­TON MTYALA

RAD­I­CAL so­cio-eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion is re­quired to achieve an eq­ui­table so­ci­ety, says ANC pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa.

While the speech was drafted by the ANC’s na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee, parts of it read like Ramaphosa’s clos­ing ad­dress at the party’s re­cent elec­tive con­fer­ence in Nas­rec, Soweto.

In the speech, Ramaphosa ac­knowl­edged that South African so­ci­ety re­mained largely un­equal, based pri­mar­ily on race and for this rea­son “we re­quire a progamme of fun­da­men­tal change, a pro­gramme of rad­i­cal so­cio-eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion”.

This, Ramaphosa said, would en­sure that po­lit­i­cal free­dom goes side by side with free­dom from hunger, want and suf­fer­ing.

While the ANC was com­mit­ted to land re­form, and land ex­pro­pri­a­tion with­out com­pen­sa­tion, Ramaphosa ad­mit­ted that gov­ern­ment-owned land should go to the land­less, and that land re­form would be im­ple­mented with­out neg­a­tively af­fect­ing South Africa’s econ­omy and food se­cu­rity.

“Guided by the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment Plan, we are go­ing to re­store our fo­cus on build­ing an econ­omy in which all South Africans can flour­ish, an econ­omy which ben­e­fits the peo­ple of our coun­try as a whole, rather than just to ben­e­fit a few priv­i­leged in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies in our coun­try.

“We want an econ­omy that will ben­e­fit all of us and whose eco­nomic spread will be felt and seen, and touched by all. We seek an open dy­namic econ­omy that has op­por­tu­ni­ties for all es­pe­cially young peo­ple and women in our coun­try, an econ­omy that pur­sues higher pro­duc­tiv­ity, cre­ates jobs, pays bet­ter wages, and im­proves the qual­ity of life of all our cit­i­zens,” he said.

While those packed in­side the Buf­falo City Sta­dium cheered Ramaphosa while the sun was beat­ing down on them, what he de­scribed was clas­sic mar­ket eco­nomics to whom many in the newly-elected NEC were openly hos­tile to.

The next part of his speech would have raised the eye­brows of the likes of SACP gen­eral sec­re­tary Blade Nz­i­mande and his deputy Solly Ma­paila who were also in the sta­dium.

“We must not have an econ­omy that dis­cour­ages, and chases away in­vestors from in­vest­ing in South Africa. As we stand here we say (that) South Africa is open for in­vest­ment and we in­vite all in­vestors from all over the world to come to South Africa to in­vest in our coun­try so that we can grow our econ­omy, so that we can cre­ate jobs, so that we can end poverty, so that we can re­duce in­equal­ity and in­crease the num­ber of peo­ple that are em­ployed.”

In per­haps a di­rect attack on the lead­er­ship of Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma and his cabi­net shake-ups which have spooked in­vestors, Ramaphosa called for pol­icy cer­tainty.

“We must have an econ­omy that of­fers pol­icy cer­tainty and ad­dresses bar­ri­ers that in­hibit in­vest­ment, growth as well as so­cial in­clu­sion. Our com­mit­ment is to build strong part­ner­ships, in which ef­fi­cient and ac­count­able gov­ern­ment agen­cies, re­spon­si­ble cit­i­zens and busi­nesses, trade unions and civil so­ci­ety work to­gether for the com­mon good of all the peo­ple of our coun­try,” said Ramaphosa.

He em­pha­sised that fun­da­men­tally the ANC was in­tent on build­ing an econ­omy which re­versed apartheid’s in­jus­tices, cor­rect­ing con­tin­u­ing pat­terns of de­pri­va­tion and in­equal­ity.

‘We want an econ­omy that will ben­e­fit all of us’

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