South Sudan: S.Africa needs radical shift to address inequalities: Zuma
Mine workers leave the 14 Shaft of the Impala Platinum mine
South African President Jacob Zuma wrapped up key policy talks by the ruling ANC Friday calling for radical change to speed up economic transformation and correct past inequalities.
Zuma told delegates at the close of the African National Congress meeting that the "conference has endorsed the need for a radical economic and social transformation programme".
He said that "despite major achievements" since the end of apartheid 18 years ago, "the structural legacy of colonialism of a special type, including patriarchy, remain deeply entrenched".
"This is reflected in the colonial, racist and sexist structure and character of our economy and development."
Zuma said the party's planned changes would mark a second phase of transition from apartheid to a true democratic society.
"This second phase of the transition shall be characterised by more radical policies and decisive action to achieve the change we envisage," he said.
He touched on the emotive area of land reforms, which must "represent a radical... break from the past without significantly disrupting agriculture production and food security".
Several proposals to "fundamentally" change the land equation would be taken to the party's national elective conference in December.
"It was agreed that we have to ensure an equitable land allocation and use (it) across race, gender and class," said Zuma.
Little progress has been made to restore land to people forced away before and during apartheid. White South Africans -- around 10 percent of the population -- still own as much as 80 percent of the land.
The meeting also recommended that ownership of South African land by foreigners should stop.
Measures discussed as part of the party's bid to drive economic change included drawing up wage and income policies aimed at promoting growth while addressing poverty and inequality.
The party also looked at possible state ownership of companies, while eyeing the country's lucrative mining sector.
In a study on how best to leverage mineral wealth to grow the economy and create jobs, the ANC proposed state control through the introduction of a 50 percent resource rent tax.
The delegates said recommendations for a "50-50 parity across public and private sectors must be legislated appropriately."
"The state should also capture an equitable share of mineral resource rents and deploy them in the interests of long-term economic growth, development and transformation," said Zuma.
The main opposition Democratic Alliance said the 50 percent resource rent on mining was problematic.
"This proposal will seriously undermine the profitability of the mining industry and will inevitably lead to mine closures, disinvestment and job cuts in the mining industry," said the DA in a statement.
"The increased revenue for government will be short lived, and cannot hope to offset the economic and social impact of thousands more unemployed people."
South Africa is Africa's top gold producer and has the world's largest platinum reserves.
An ANC national executive member, Enoch Godongwane, later told reporters that while the conference discussed nationalisation, this was not considered for the mining sector.
"The greater consensus was that there should be a greater state intervention."
Zuma said the meeting had condemned factionalism and reaffirmed a call for firm action to instill discipline in the party.
"With my few years on this earth, I've seen organisations dying because they relaxed discipline and that led to them withering away," he said.
He said disciplinary procedures must be respected, regardless of who the member was.
"If it happened to my brother or my friend, it must apply equally... we have got to change gear because our gears have been wobbling up to now."
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