The ANC wants to increase the speed at which it is moving in addressing economic inequalities by enabling more black people to play an active role in the economy of the country.
ANC policy head Jeff Radebe said this when he addressed the party’s Nelson Mandela Bay metro branches in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
Radebe facilitated the regional discussions of the party’s policy documents released a month ago.
He said ownership by Africans in the country’s economy was still minimal and the government wanted to change that by making legislation more effective for the implementation of policies that would speed up the role of black ownership.
Radebe covered the ANC’s eight discussion documents.
“We have succeeded in consolidating institutions of political democracy but on the prosperous part, we are still lagging behind,” he said.
He urged ANC members to focus their attention on economic matters.
“At branch level, two-thirds of agenda must be about the economy and how to improve the quality of life for our people. Politics alone is not going to bring us desired economic emancipation.”
Radebe said state and state-owned enterprises could play a key role in driving radical economic transformation, through procurement of goods and services.
“In 2015 the ANC government spent R500-billion on goods and services. That is the power that your ministers have,” he said.
“Companies such as Eskom, Transnet, Post Office, etc are also powerful and amass huge budget.”
Radebe said the current legislative framework and regulation framework, such as issuing of licences, could also be used effectively to bring about desired outcomes.
He mentioned land redistribution as another government programme that could be used to fund emerging black farmers.
However, he acknowledged the slow pace of land redistribution and said it could take up to 40 years to achieve targets at the current pace.
“There is a lot of a talk about land these days. Current figures stand at eight million hectares of arable land which have been transferred to black people.
“This is against the target of 24 million hectares,” Radebe said.
Another problem affecting land redistribution was that the majority of land claimants chose financial compensation instead of taking the land.
Radebe said this led to continuous dispossession of the land from black people.
“Ninety percent of land claims are settled through financial compensation instead of land,” he said.
Black ownership in the mining sector stood at a “disastrous” 2.5%.
Radebe stressed the need to review the financial sector charter to diversify ownership.