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Zuma: Radical economic transformation a gospel truth

Jun 01 2017 15:02
Liesl Peyper

Cape Town - Christians can’t argue against the notion of radical economic transformation, said President Jacob Zuma in Parliament on Thursday. “It’s the gospel truth and I love talking about it like a pastor likes talking about the bible on Sundays.”

Zuma was responding to a debate on the Presidency’s budget vote that took place the previous day, and spent a considerable time explaining to largely ANC MPs in the National Assembly what government means by radical economic transformation.

The opposition benches of particularly the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters were mostly empty and only a handful of opposition party members - such as those from the Inkatha Freedom Party and Freedom Front Plus - were present.

“Do you want clarity on radical economic transformation?” Zuma asked the IFP in particular. “The decision to implement this was taken at the ANC’s 53rd national conference in Mangaung in 2012. It’s a policy of the ruling party and it has come from someone’s head. It’s policy,” Zuma emphasised.

“People who are still in doubt should read the ANC’s resolutions taken there. It’s our duty as government to implement the policies of the ANC. And we are late. It should’ve been implemented in 2013 – immediately.”

Zuma continued, saying the notion of radical economic transformation was again repeated at the ANC’s lekgotla in January this year.

Radical economic transformation in general means broadly accelerated socio-economic transformation, land reform and redistribution among other things, Zuma said.

“I’m sure everyone agrees that the structure of South Africa’s economy excluded the majority. The system was racially based. And that patterns of ownership are still in the same hand. The freedom is not yet completed. We want a kind of economy that all South Africans can benefit from. Not others more, others less, or others not at all. Especially the poor.

“What a gospel truth!” Zuma exclaimed. “I know as a Christian you won’t disagree with this truth.” 

Zuma said the economic component of its radical economic transformation programme has gained such popularity in the public domain that it is now known by the acronym – RET. “Robust economic transformation,” he said.

“South Africa should honestly accept this reality (of radical economic transformation). If we don’t deal with this we’ll stay for a long time with protests, and we who have everything are wondering why they are protesting. The question of us not having jobs is a man-made problem in SA,” Zuma said.

“If you take the land of other people and take their rights – then it’s you [who did that]. [Then it’s] man-made and it needs man to correct it. That’s what we’re doing. If that makes other people feel bad, it’s unfortunate.”

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