The political campaign in the ANC took a different vibe in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, with Party hopeful Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma hitting hard on the need for the South African land to be redistributed.
In her speech to her supportive audience who were packed into the Osizweni Community Hall in isiZulu, Dlamini-Zuma outlined that need for the country to embark on the already launched Radical Economic Transformation. She defined the RET as “a fundamental change in the structure, systems, institutions, patterns of ownership, management and control of the South African economy in favour of the South African people, especially the poor, the majority of whom are African and female”.
The core vision of the RET, according to her was the redistribution of land which was taken from us through the barrel of the gun. “We need to return our land to our people. We need land for residential purposes, to build businesses, schools and universities, recreational purposes and, of course, agricultural purposes,” she said.
The Presidential hopeful also called for a change in the leadership of the Reserve Bank. She said this would be needed to create an The ownership of the Reserve Bank needed to change to create an enabling environment for the establishment of state and other banks, counter monopolies in the financial sector” and help the state to ensure that black people had access to finance.
“We cannot have a majority portion of the population unable to access finance and thus [be] excluded from the productive and job-creating sections of our economy,” she said. Despite being the main opposition to each other, what the Ramaphosa camp and that of Dlamini-Zuma has in common is the pursuit of the RET which the governing party launched this year through its Leader Jacob Zuma. Like his opponent and a majority of the ANC members, Ramaphosa described the RET as an ideology which indicates a new phase of accelerated implementation of the long-standing economic policy positions of the ANC and government.
However, Ramaphosa further clarified that part of the problem with the current conversation about radical economic transformation is that the term has often been misused, misrepresented or misunderstood. We now know that some highly-paid PR specialists contrived a plan to use terms like “radical economic transformation” and “white monopoly capital” to launch a publicity offensive in defence of their clients. It was part of defining a new narrative where those who stood in the way of their clients’ interests were presented as being opposed to “radical economic transformation” and representing the interests of “white monopoly capital”.
It is has therefore become accepted in many quarters that the term “radical economic transformation” is often deployed to either mask or justify activities that could be best described as state capture. Some people use the term “radical economic transformation” to proclaim measures that are intended to cement their ‘radical’ credentials rather than actually achieve meaningful improvement in the lives of the poor, Ramaphosa said at a meeting with the Gordon Business Institute of Science (GIBS).
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa believes that true radical economic transformation must be implemented speedily to address the imbalances of the past and to achieve this he said, the country must go beyond slogans to the heart of the matter by “focusing on the real substance of radical economic transformation and the steps that we need to take‚”
Dlamini-Zuma, however, outlined how the state would use its buying power to change who benefited from its expenditure, saying it would create and support new, young, black and female-owned businesses rather than supporting the status quo. She said the RET policy would be applied across all sectors of the economy, but areas like the developing ocean economy identified by the National Planning Commission would be targeted for amplifying black ownership. The beneficiation of mineral resources would also change, with a focus on boosting manufacturing to stop the current situation, in which minerals were exported at low prices and finished goods imported at great expense, she said.,
Its Zuma’s New Scam On corruption, the presidential hopeful said a transparent and corrupt-free government is needed to fast-track the economic development of South Africa. She also added that the country also needs a government that is responsive to the needs of our people. “We need to make sure that cadres that are deployed in the state internalise the fact that they have an enormous responsibility to change the lives of our people. They should not see their deployment as power but rather as responsibility,” she said.