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East Ruenet Fortein
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Lessons learnt (ANC), Radical changes (ANC vs EFF), DA will take care of the rest!

26 June 2014, 14:49

The struggle for national liberation was increasingly waged for both political and economic liberation. The links between the political and economic aspects of liberation are there in the Freedom Charter "Strategy and Tactics" document is that the struggle was aimed at " the complete political and economic emancipation of all our people and the constitution of a society.

So it was long, long before the EFF recently surfaced to claim the space for economic freedom solely for itself, that ANC members under the most brutal conditions of apartheid and at huge personal and collective cost waged the struggle for economic freedom. Of course, the EFF knows this and have said it before and was also one of the main reasons for Mr Sello Malema’s support for Mr Gezeyihlekisa Zuma in ousting Mr Thabo Mbeki and most of their members come from the ANC, PAC and new comers.

So it's very hard to argue that the ANC's stress in the next five years on economic liberation is simply to outflank the EFF, but some even within the ANC are saying thanks to the stand-in of the EFF. So really!

Yes, yes, the world has changed dramatically since the ANC's 1994 take over, but the need for economic liberation hasn't. 20 years into our democracy it has become more urgent. We have, of course, made significant progress since 1994. But we still have a long way to go. And the way to go, as the ANC and government have made clear that the next five years will be more radical for our transition to a national democratic society.

"Economic transformation", he said "will take centre-stage during this new term of government as we put the economy on an inclusive growth path." He repeated this in his SONA address, but we all know that it’s not the 1st time he’s saying it or did he mean to silence EFF! It's that the emphasis is now going to be much more on the economic aspects. And the progress made these past 20 years provides the basis for the radical phase.

By the radical phase of the transition we are referring to more directly and systematically addressing the structural constraints of the economy and more decisively tackling the challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality in our society. By radical we mean addressing the roots of the problem.

And by radical we mean too decisive action to achieve our political and economic goals. So with the new radical phase, we are speaking both of content and, crucially, action. We are speaking of a new determination to get things done - faster, more efficiently, and more effectively.

An important part of the structural constraint relates to the way in which our economy integrated into the global economy, as a supplier of natural resources and with our over-dependency on the mining and finance sectors and the inadequate development of our manufacturing sector.

These constraints trap our economy in a low-growth, low-investment, high-inequality and high-unemployment cycle.

Overcoming the structural problems and binding constraints requires structural solutions to transform the trajectory of economic growth, further industrialise the South African economy and accelerate social development.

For much of the past 20 years we've been focussing mainly on economic growth, not enough on economic transformation. Now we need to look more at transformation, but transformation that will be a source of growth, and shape the kind of growth and who benefits from it - and not simply established capital, but, crucially, emerging black capital too.

This means we have to build our capacity to be a more effective democratic developmental state.….In the next five years, despite the global economic outlook, we are determined to act decisively and boldly to increase investment in the real economy and infrastructure, stimulate faster levels of inclusive growth, speed up social development, substantially reduce poverty and unemployment, and place the economy on a qualitatively different growth path."

…..Now we heard today from the Deputy Speaker of Parliament that Mr Maimane is the new Leader of the Opposition. I wonder if Mr Malema recognises the Mr Maimane as his leader…lol… The brand new Leader of the Opposition, the posterboy boy of the suburbs, delivering his maiden speech, said the President had disappointed him. He said he was hoping for bold new ideas. But what did Mr Maimane offer instead? The same old lamentations, the same old suburban whining, the same well-coached culture of pessimism. A new Leader of the DA with nothing new to say. Wow! What a not-new start.

We have CIC Sello beginning his earliest speech by speaking on behalf of the indebted in South Africa.

Of course, Back to what matters. The implementation of the key recommendations of the SIMS report on mining should be considered, particularly the greater beneficiation of our natural resources and industrialization, and set-asides at a favourable price of key commodities for local energy production, such as coal and gas and industrial manufacturing, such as iron ore and manganese.

SA's competitive advantage is our abundant mineral resources. However, for over a century the major mining and financial interests that have dominated mining in our country have locked us into a growth path that relies heavily on exporting un-beneficiated primary resources extracted through cheap - and still today, often, contract - labour.

The state cannot on its own effectively implement the second phase of the transition. We need the active participation of the people. Not just this, but the concerted involvement of key stakeholders such as business and the trade unions.

We need a massive united effort to implement the Radical phase of the transition. There's a role for all of us to play in this, whatever our political backgrounds. Find this role. And play your part to the fullest!

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