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Radical transformation dominates SONA: Here are Zuma's 12 mentions

Feb 10 2017 12:00
Matthew le Cordeur

Cape Town – President Jacob Zuma mentioned the word “transformation” 12 times in his State of the Nation Address as he moves to escalate the need for urgent radical economic transformation.

1. Zuma defines radical socio-economic transformation

“What do we mean by radical socio-economic transformation? We mean fundamental change in the structure, systems, institutions and patterns of ownership, management and control of the economy in favour of all South Africans, especially the poor, the majority of whom are African and female, as defined by the governing party which makes policy for the democratic government.”

2. Transformation in the workplace is too slow

“The pace of transformation in the workplace, the implementation of affirmative action policies as required by the Employment Equity Act, also remains very slow. In terms of the 2015/16 information submitted to the Employment Equity Commission, the representation of whites at top management level amounted to 72% whilst African representation was at 10%.

"The representation of Coloureds stood at 4.5% and Indians 8.7%. The report further provides that white South Africans, in particular males, are afforded higher levels of recruitment, promotion and training opportunities as compared, to the designated groups.”

3. Business community accepts nature of ownership must be corrected

“The skewed nature of ownership and leadership patterns needs to be corrected. There can be no sustainability in any economy if the majority is excluded in this manner. In my discussions with the business community, they accepted these transformation imperatives.”

4. A fresh start

“Today we are starting a new chapter of radical socio-economic transformation. We are saying that we should move beyond words, to practical programmes.”

5. State to use strategic levers to drive  transformation

“The state will play a role in the economy to drive that transformation. In this regard, government will utilise to the maximum, the strategic levers that are available to the state.”

6. Regulations to influence the behaviour of the private sector

“This includes legislation, regulations, licensing, budget and procurement as well as Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Charters to influence the behaviour of the private sector and drive transformation.”

7. R1.4trn state spending available for economic transformation

“The state spends R500bn a year buying goods and services. Added to this is the R900bn infrastructure budget. Those budgets must be used to achieve economic transformation.”

8. Competition Act amendment in 2017 to de-concentrate the high levels of ownership

“During this year, the Department of Economic Development will bring legislation to Cabinet that will seek to amend the Competition Act. It will among others address the need to have a more inclusive economy and to de-concentrate the high levels of ownership and control we see in many sectors.

"We will then table the legislation for consideration by Parliament. In this way, we seek to open up the economy to new players, give black South Africans opportunities in the economy and indeed help to make the economy more dynamic, competitive and inclusive. This is our vision of radical economic transformation.”

9. Draft Property Practitioners Bill to create more inclusive, representative sector

“Government is actively involved in the property sector, having provided more than four million houses since 1994…. A draft Property Practitioners Bill will be published by the Department of Human Settlements for public comment with the purpose of establishing a more inclusive, representative sector, towards radical economic transformation.”

10. Time to move beyond share ownership schemes only

“We reiterate that radical economic transformation should mean moving beyond share ownership schemes only. We would like to see black people involved directly in business, owning factories. The development of the Black Industrialists programme is thus critical.”

11. Expropriation Act referred back to Parliament

“We had stated our intention of using the Expropriation Act to pursue land reform and land redistribution, in line with the constitution. 

"I have now decided to refer the bill back to Parliament for reconsideration on the basis that the bill might not pass constitutional muster. This is due to inadequate public participation during its processing. We trust that Parliament will be able to move with speed in meeting the requirements so that the law can be finalised to effect transformation.”

12. Unite in driving radical economic transformation

“Let us unite in driving radical economic transformation for the good of our country. In the words of president (Oliver) Tambo: ‘Working together as fellow South Africans, we have it within our power to transform this country into the land of plenty for all, where the nightmare of apartheid will just be a faint memory of the past.’”

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