The ANC in Gauteng says the concept of “white monopoly capital” does not exist in the party’s vocabulary and believes the term is being used to deflect attention from state capture.
This weekend the province held its policy conference where it made proposals on strategy and tactics, organisational renewal and economic transformation, which will be presented at the national policy conference this week.
On the topic of economic transformation the provincial executive committee (PEC) cautioned against the use of policies that bordered on populism.
“The conference has made it clear that there is nothing called ‘white monopoly capital’ in our vocabulary,” said provincial chairperson Paul Mashatile. “The use of some of these concepts and terminology smacks of populism that creates confusion within our ranks.”
The province said the ANC had always taken a firm stand against monopolies, regardless of the race of those running them and that the framing of monopoly capital around whiteness was a distraction and was being used to frame the leadership contest.
Last week, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa also criticised the use of the term “white monopoly capital”, saying it was an invention of a highly paid public relations company to protect their clients who had been accused of state capture.
Although Ramaphosa did not mention any names, he is understood to have been alluding to the Guptas, who hired the services of international PR company Bell Pottinger to sanitise their image when allegations of state capture started surfacing against them.
Gauteng is expected to release a comprehensive list of its proposals later this week. Part of the document will include the province’s definition of “radical economic transformation” and how it believes the concept should be pursued.
Deputy provincial chairperson David Makhura said Gauteng did not agree with calls for a Constitutional amendment to allow expropriation of land without compensation.
“We will not come in from the point of view of those who think the Constitution must be amended or who think without compensation. We believe in the fact that a lot of the failures that we can be critical of ourselves [over] are failures of implementation,” Makhura said.
Gauteng leaders said there were no discussions on the names of prospective leadership candidates or on calls for President Jacob Zuma to step down because the gathering focused on policy matters.
At the opening session of the conference on Friday, the hall at the Saint George Hotel was filled with the sound of delegates singing songs in support of deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and others singing pro-Zuma songs.
Provincial leaders said this show of split support for the two leaders was not to be interpreted as a sign of divisions in the province.
Makhura said Gauteng ANC members agreed unanimously on the policy positions taken and that, ultimately, it was policy alignment that would decide the province’s choice of leaders.
“What we always measure, what is likely to be the positions on leadership, are the positions on substantive issues,” Makhura said. “From this policy conference, there is no dissenting voice on substantive issues.”