Radical economic transformation and inclusive growth are the same thing, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday evening during a live interview on 702 and CapeTalk by Xolani Gwala.
He pointed out that radical economic transformation was ANC policy. This must include economic growth in townships and the involvement of black-owned business.
“Underpinning what we are about, is [the advancement of] black people previously kept behind, but in the process, [also making everyone] feel that this is a South Africa for all of us,” said Ramaphosa.
He said this was what the government was currently doing in relation to the land issue.
“We are saying we need to correct what was done incorrectly in the past. It is ANC policy and deeply embedded in our actions and in our hearts,” said Ramaphosa.
Asked about SA having been downgraded by ratings agencies, Ramaphosa said SA is currently facing a “rather difficult economic situation” but is not the only country that has been downgraded by ratings agencies.
“We are working very hard. Ratings agencies are very important, because once you are downgraded, your debt becomes more expensive,” explained Ramaphosa.
“We want to get out of this downgrade situation and upgrade ourselves. We can only do that through inclusive growth, by having more drivers of economic growth.”
He said a lot of hard work has been done to build “compacts” between multiple role players, for instance on the national minimum wage. He said the jobs summit and the investment summit were both results of compacts that had been formed.
“We are committed to increase collaboration. SA does not belong only to a few people. It belongs to all of us. That is why I am defining my role of president as one of collaboration, of building compacts to get as many South Africans as possible to engage with each other,” he said.
“Gone are the days where someone is sitting somewhere like an emperor issuing edicts.”
He said work is being done to create “concrete plans” to generate more economic growth, laying the foundation to deal with issues of concern. These included policy certainty needed regarding mining, telecommunications and in terms of the visa situation.
He added that a greater emphasis will also be placed on infrastructure on a large scale. For this a fund will be put together, he indicated.