Nothing scary about radical transformation – Zuma

President says gap must be closed and the wealth of the country must look after the citizens of country

Nothing scary about radical transformation - Zuma

6 April 2017

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma on Thursday defended government's plan to implement radical socio-economic transformation during the remainder of his term in office.

People had been questioning the ruling party's plan to address the large gap between rich and poor, he said at the Presidential Local Government Summit in Midrand.

Radical-socio economic transformation was not scary or vague and did not go beyond what the ruling party had said it was.

"It's nothing like a goggo [insect] or anything beyond what is put by us," he said.

"By radical socio economic transformation we mean the fundamental change in the structure, the system, the 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," Zuma said.

"Let us not keep on asking what we mean by this. If you want to debate, let us debate this meaning we have presented."

It was "absolutely important that the economy of this country must be shared among all citizens of this country".

"The gap must be closed. The wealth of this country must look after the citizens of this country," Zuma said.

New Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba told reporters on Saturday that government's vision for a new economy would be implemented within Treasury's fiscal limits.

Gigaba's predecessor Pravin Gordhan had reportedly come under pressure from Cabinet members to allocate spending to transformation programmes.

"The issue of radical economic transformation arises from a criticism that for quite a long time, the structure of the economy has not changed," Gigaba said.

Government was criticised for not focusing on the "real" economy, for not industrialising and promoting entrepreneurship, particularly among blacks, he said.