Economy still in the hands of those who controlled it before democracy - ANC deputy SG

ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte.
ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte.
Photo: Jabu Kumalo
  • ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte says the party wants to build an open post-Covid-19 economy.
  • The alliance secretariat also wants SAA to be given a government guarantee as part of its Covid-19 relief efforts so it can fare better after the global health crisis passes.
  • It's also calling on the government to do everything possible to urgently restore SAA operations now that lockdown regulations allow domestic air travel.

While the ANC might not fully agree with its Ekurhuleni chairperson, Mzwandile Masina, it complained that South Africa's economy largely remained under the control of those who ran it before the dawn of democracy.

The party's deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte said on Thursday that the ANC wanted to build an open post-Covid-19 economy.

She was speaking at a virtual media briefing, following a meeting of the ANC-led alliance secretariat.

Duarte said the organisation wanted this to speak to the vision set out in the Freedom Charter, which stated that the country belongs to all who live in it.

"The structure of our economy dictates that the same people who were there before 1990 are in fact the same people who have control and are in charge of the economy and we do not have an inclusive economy," said Duarte.

"Naturally, what we would like to see is that black South Africans are the ones who are in charge of the economy itself. It's not like that now," she said.

Without mentioning Masina's name, she said the ANC did not want a racialised economy.

READ | Parliamentary meeting overshadowed by controversial tweet by Mayor Masina

Masina landed in hot water with the party at a national level following a Twitter post in which he agreed with EFF leader Julius Malema's calls for the collapse of the "white economy".

Although he apologised and deleted several posts subsequent to the tweet, he refused to withdraw his support for Malema's views.

The SACP's first deputy general secretary, Solly Mapaila, said the coronavirus pandemic had shown, on a global scale, that capital had failed to respond to the needs of the majority. He said the government was responding effectively and offering different stimulus packages to assist people.

"We think that intervention of public money could not be of public indebtedness at the expense of private capital, it should be public indebtedness for the public," he said.

He also commented on the country's embattled airline SAA, the restructuring of which the alliance endorsed.

Mapaila said they wanted the state and public institutions to invest in the airline, adding that this would not only make SAA stronger but it would have a positive impact on the entire aviation industry.

He said they all agreed on a need for a restructured airline, adding that theirs was a call for the government to intervene.

"Government has given guarantees of [an] over R200 billion loan scheme to private businesses that are making [a] maximum [of] R300m through commercial banks. We do not see any reason a similar guarantee couldn't be given to our national airline in the space so that it's able to come out much better," he said.

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