Nationalisation off the table

2012-12-21 00:00

THE ANC has overturned the decision it took at the June policy conference to introduce “strategic nationalisation” in key sectors, including mining.

The party’s 53rd conference decided on a new formulation for more state intervention in the economy, marking a complete defeat for the pro-nationalisation lobby in the ANC.

President Jacob Zuma and his supporters were opposed to the idea of nationalisation in any form as it was used as a proxy campaign against the president’s second term.

The resolution on economic transformation states that there should be “increased state ownership in strategic sectors where deemed appropriate on the balance of evidence”.

At a media conference yesterday, the ANC’s economic policy chiefs — including Enoch Godongwana, Thaba Mufamadi and Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba — said that even though they were advocating more state intervention in the economy, this did not mean it would include nationalisation.

Gigaba said nationalisation was off the table.

Instead, members reverted to an older ANC policy contained in its “ready to govern document” of 1992. This signals the defeat, under Zuma’s leadership, of the hard-fought policy conference resolution in June.

The Zuma camp’s win is also the final nail in the coffin of the ANC Youth League’s “economic freedom in our lifetime” campaign.

Meanwhile, the proposed changes to the willing buyer, willing seller land reform policy was replaced with a “just and equitable” clause.

“The delay of land sales due to a disagreement on prices is stalling land reform. It can now be mediated,” Gigaba said.

The surveyor general, who must evaluate property values, had almost completed an audit of state-owned land, he said.

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