NEWS & ANALYSIS

Raceballs 11: The road to Zimbabwean ruin

An occasional feature celebrating the wit & wisdom of the colour-blinded and racially obsessed

I

The radical socioeconomic transformation is a vehicle through which we accelerate the process of transferring economic power to the black majority. As the ANC we are unapologetic about its stance of prioritising the black majority in our transformative programmes. [Applause.] We must accelerate radical socioeconomic transformation to ensure beneficiation of the majority of black people who suffered centuries of colonial domination, decades of oppressive apartheid rule and a lifetime of economic deprivation. – Speech by Jeff Radebe, Minister in the Presidency, debate on the President’s SONA, 14 February 2017

II

“… [W]e have to uproot the current system and structure of the economy. The structure and system fundamentally favour the minority of South Africans at the expense of the majority of South Africans. Therefore, within this context, the following will be done to ensure the attainment of our overall goal of radical socioeconomic transformation in relation to land reform. Firstly, undertake a precolonial audit of land ownership, use and occupation patterns. This is very important. Once the audit has been completed, a single law should be developed to address the issue of land restitution without compensation. The necessary constitutional amendments should be undertaken to effect this process. Yes, this is constitutional revolution; we will do it but within the confines of the Constitution of our Republic.”Speech by Gugile Nkwinti, Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, debate on the President’s SONA, 14 February 2017

III

Economic transformation should not only be radical. It should be revolutionary. The state’s stake in the economy should be increased from the current 30% to more than 50%. The state should mine all strategic minerals. We have the largest zinc reserves in the world. We produce 80% of the world’s platinum. Together with Zimbabwe, we control all of it. We need a proper state bank, not the spaza shop arrangement of the Postbank. The commanding eyes of the economy, like Sasol and ArcelorMittal South Africa, should revert to the state. Yes, we must smash the cartels and collusion. Yes, the land of the African people, the land bought, the land never sold – land dispossession was not just about the means of production. It was a loss of sovereignty, dignity, and humanity which portrays the racism that Africans still experience on the farms, in the factories, in the mines, at the universities, on the beaches, and just about everywhere. – Themba Godi, ARC MP and Chairperson of the Committee on Public Accounts, debate on the President’s SONA, 14 February 2017

IV

In our radical economic transformation, all South Africans have a responsibility to ensure that women benefit from the shake-up in the current structure, systems and institutions of our country. Patterns of ownership and control of the economy should change in favour of all South Africans, the majority of whom are Africans especially women. - Susan Shabangu, Minister of Women in the Presidency, debate on the President’s SONA, 14 February 2017

V

The era of radical economic transformation demands that we must consciously wrestle the economic ownership and control form the monopolies and cartels. The pursuit of the black industrialist programme must take the centre stage in order to bring more blacks and Africans in particular into the ownership and control of the economy. Radical economic transformation will remain a pipe dream if we do not restore land to the people. Africans cannot continue to work land for the benefit of the few who stole it with force. Land remains a catalyser for mainstream economic participation, ownership and control. In this regard, the ANC will use its majority to fast-track the Land Expropriation Act. Where land can be restituted, government will continue to discourage financial compensation as this option undermines the transformation of agriculture as a critical economic sector. – ANC KZN chairperson and Economic Development MEC Sihle Zikalala debate on the President’s SONA, Parliament, 14 February 2017

VI

Hon Deputy Speaker, I repeat. I stand here to reiterate and reaffirm statements made by hon members of the ANC as well as some members of the opposition who spoke yesterday to the fact that change must happen in the economic landscape of South Africa, and it must happen now. The ownership of the means of production must change, the patterns of ownership must change, and land must be returned to the people for production and dwelling. All institutions supporting radical economic transformation must step up. Our people need to be empowered to understand the value of their rand. They must decide whether their rand will continue to grow a system that does not invest back into them or whether they must now redirect that rand and develop their own and this is critical. - Lindiwe Zulu Minister of Small Business Development, debate on the President’s SONA, 15 February 2017

VII

We continue to strive for full implementation of laws to ensure transformation of ownership patterns of the economy with the express intention of ensuring demographic representation in all sectors of the economy. The continuing systematic marginalisation of blacks from meaningfully participating in the economy, particularly at decision-making levels, cannot continue unabated. These counter-majoritarian tendencies represent the ugly face of the social system. We must continue to fight for the meaningful participation of the downtrodden majority in the mainstream economy based on the reflection of their mental attitude and not the colour of their skin, to borrow from Martin Luther King Junior. - Mr Sahlulele Luzipo ANC Chairperson of Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources, debate on the President’s SONA, 15 February 2017

VIII

We have been interacting with our people and our supporters and they have been telling us across the board that they did not vote for the opposition during the elections. They wanted in the most dramatic way to send a message to us to address the deprivation they are still confronted with, 22 years since South Africa’s 1994 democracy. They therefore simply stayed away from the polls and in that manner denied us their votes. Their cry was that many of them still live in poverty, still clean homes and tend to gardens in white suburbs for meagre salaries and work on the mines but kept away from the wealth generated at those entities because their class enemy, the bosses and owners of those places of work, see them only as units of labour.Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, debate on the President’s SONA, 15 February 2017

IX

Hon President, we proudly join all ANC Members of Parliament who have welcomed your state of the nation address, in particular your emphasis on fundamentally changing the ownership patterns of the means of production of the South African economy in favour of Africans in particular and blacks in general.The time is, indeed, now hon President for our government to use our political authority to advance the radical economic transformation in our country. We have not been reckless in pursuit of this transformative goal, and many who have previously benefited took it as a given, hon President, that black people will never ascend to their highest point of economic control and ownership. In fact, they even said we will remain consumers of our economic outputs. That is where they think we belong. – ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu debate on the President’s SONA, 15 February 2017

X

Hon Groenewald, affirmative action and black economic empowerment do not demonstrate a hatred of white people. They are aimed at ensuring the achievement of true reconciliation in the country based on the Constitution of the Republic.  The Constitution enjoins us to heal the divisions of the past and to establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights. Radical economic transformation, of which affirmative action and BEE form a part, are part of healing the divisions of the past. [Applause.]

...

We have said, we are not going to act like they do in other parts of the world. We have a Constitution. We have the law. It is going to be between or within the parameters of the law that we are going to address this matter. This does not display hatred. It does not. We are saying this problem must be resolved. We can’t not resolve it. Because it we don’t, it could explode one day. The responsible leadership of today must find a way to avoid that situation. [Applause.] So, I don’t think it helps to use phrases that, if somebody talks about the land, about land hunger, then he is hating the whites. How else could you describe those who own the land? How do you describe them if you don’t say what happened? [Interjections.]

...

I just thought it is important to stress this point because I think it is a callous discussion. I’m just saying, please disabuse yourself of, instead of debating the issue so that we find a common agreed solution, pointing at colour. We are avoiding pointing at colour, but we are describing the situation as it was, with the aim of finding a solution for the country. That is what we are doing. And we are not going to stop because you say, you hate the whites. No. That is not true. It’s not true. I have worked with whites. There were whites who were in the struggle. We were in the trenches together. [Applause.] I would not have been with them there if I were racist. They were my comrades. We lived together. We in the ANC have gone beyond the feelings of racism. Far beyond it. Even before 1994. That is not the issue. [Applause.]- Reply by President Jacob Zuma to the debate on the State of the Nation address, 16 February 2017

XI

In fact, the formation of the ANC itself was a direct response to the mooted seizure of 87% of the indigenous land by the colonisers. Would I thus be remiss to say the ANC has a moral obligation and responsibility to the people of our country to return 80% of land to the people from whom land was taken? Would this be considered radical? The burden of land ownership proof should never be ours; those who today claim ownership must prove that land was actually paid for in the 17th and 18th centuries.

What is the position of the South African native today in relation to the land question? It is a fact that, despite the efforts of the democratic government to address the landlessness of our people, a lot of productive commercial land and prime residential land is still in white hands. It is inexcusable that today, the state only owns a mere 14% of the country’s land with 79% being in private hands which, by all accounts, points to white people. As a government, we are now more than ever called upon to return land to its rightful owners. We have to do so, not because it is fashionable to sing and dance about land but because it is time the majority of our people benefited equally from the resources provided by their own land and to move towards closing the circle of the revolution so many died for. This sense of urgency to return land to our people is reflected by President Jacob Zuma in his state of the nation address that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve true reconciliation until the land question has been resolved. - Ayanda Dlodlo, Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration, City Press, 19 February 2017

XII

The State of the Nation Address and the makgotla of government and the governing party, the ANC made it clear that this is year of land reform and of taking land back to the people. We need to see this gaining expression in the Phakisa which is our implementation programme.

How are we going to achieve all the goals mentioned in the State of the Nation Address and all the laws and policies that we are busy amending to enable faster land reform, including land expropriation without compensation as provided for in the Constitution. - Speech by President Jacob Zuma, 24 February 2017