Unpacking radical economic transformation

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Pretoria - Radical economic transformation is not a break from existing government policy nor does it represent a new and uncertain path.

Rather it is an acceleration of the current transformation of the country’s economy to benefit all and if implemented right it can speedily address the imbalances of the past, says Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“Radical economic transformation is, in essence, about building a more equal society through sustained inclusive growth. It requires that we change the structure of our economy.

“We need to fundamentally alter the racial and gender composition of the ownership, control and management of our economy. We need a South African economy that truly reflects the composition, diversity and interests of the South African people,” said Deputy President Ramaphosa.

He was addressing the Gibs Forum at the Gordon Institute of Business Science in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

The Deputy President said the economy cannot be owned by white people and it cannot be dominated by men.

As such, radical economic transformation necessarily requires that the country addresses the concentration of ownership in the economy.

“If we are to truly unleash our country’s potential, we need to tackle this concentration of ownership, control and market dominance. We also need to diversify our economy, specifically through the development of our industrial capacity.”

By beneficiating our minerals, by processing our agricultural produce, he said, the country will be able to realise its full potential value.

Another necessity for the success of the radical economic transformation is a supportive macroeconomic policies, infrastructure revolution, greater push for mechanisms like the black industrialists programme and the revised BEE codes and an end to corruption.

“For radical economic transformation to be successful, the process of black economic empowerment needs to be integral to our efforts to grow the economy.

“Empowerment and growth should be mutually reinforcing,” he said.

By bringing more black South Africans into the economy – as owners, managers, financiers, industrialists and employees – “we would be expanding the capacity of our economy and improving the potential for growth and development”.

Talk of radical economic transformation has dominated the national discourse over the past couple of months.

However, Deputy President Ramaphosa has urged business and investors and ordinary South Africans not to be scared of the term which he said has been misused and misinterpreted.

He instead urged South Africans to work towards a shared growth and future to ensure the country becomes a winning nation where everybody would be happy. - SAnews.gov.za

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