Bid for ‘investment from all over the world’
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’