The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) has welcomed the ANC’s vision for transforming the economy, spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said on Monday.
“The ANCYL has been saying that political power without economic power is meaningless and we are glad that the ANC accepts this analysis as a basis to transform our economy,” Shivambu said in a statement after President Jacob Zuma’s January 8 statement.
Youth league leader Julius Malema — who adressed the crowd before Zuma’s speech at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Saturday, repeated his call for nationalisation.
Malema said the only way to free the country from poverty was to implement a programme of nationalisation.
“Nationalisation is the solution to the problems we are facing,” he said.
Five-million jobs — 10 years
Malema also took aim at big business, especially white business owners.
“We cannot accept the economy being in the control of white males,” he said.
Zuma, in his speech, made it clear that he wanted jobs to be created this year. He gave his unequivocal support to Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel’s new growth path (NGP), as the vehicle through which South Africa would achieve both economic growth and job creation.
“We must make the decisive shift to meaningful economic transformation and set in motion a very deliberate programme that will ensure that the benefits of our political liberation are shared amongst all our people.”
The new growth framework document released to Parliament in November last year sets a very ambitious target — the creation of five-million jobs in 10 years. To do this it proposes a host of measures, both macro and micro-economic, that will require a broad social compact between labour, business and the government, if they are to work.
The NGP sets out a broad accord on wages, proposes caps for executives and highly paid executives, with inflation-linked increases for low- to middle-income earners. It also calls for looser monetary policy by the Reserve Bank and the allocation of a “prudent” portion of retirement funds to developmental and growth-oriented investments.
Leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance Helen Zille said on Sunday that Zuma’s speech reflected an organisation deeply divided.
“Denial of South Africa’s reality, as part of a competitive global economy, as well as the closed, crony control of the dominant clique of the ruling party, will prevent our country from fulfilling its great potential, she said.
Zille said Zuma’s repeated commitment to Marxist ideology undermined his stated aim of job creation through meaningful economic transformation and his policy programme led to economic decline and mass impoverishment.
“This is the disturbingly anti-democratic thread that runs through President Zuma’s speech from start to finish, and should ring loud alarm bells for all South Africans.”
Land reform and education
Zuma on Saturday also raised concerns about foreign ownership of land.
“If we as South Africa allow people to keep buying our land, we will end up with a country where other people own our land. This is why we need to be careful in how we handle foreigners who come to buy land,” Zuma said.
Education was the one thing the DA and ANCYL agreed with the president on.
He proposed to convert study loans into bursaries for deserving poor students as an incentive to encourage children to study. — Sapa