The Forum met MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala, as part of his two-day pre-budget speech engagements with various business sectors.
Presenting the forum’s submissions, chairperson of eThekwini region, advocate Khaya Thango, said: “In an overall sense, our understanding of radical economic transformation is that it must with specific and well-planned interventions bring about a fundamental re-alignment of the balance of forces in our economy.”
The forum’s provincial executive committee member Carl Niehaus said democratic power without economic power was incomplete and hamstrung.
“This fundamental transformation of the balance of forces must be broad based, and must impact on the economic power and transformation of the lives and fortunes of the majority of African people of our country.”
He warned, however, that a transition from a small white elite with monopoly economic power to a small black elite with monopoly economic power must be avoided at all costs.
“In this regard, we commend the MEC for his recent statements to that effect.
"Also, for committing himself to ensure that radical economic transformation must be broad based and truly empowering of the largest possible cross section of the population in our country,” said Niehaus.
Speaking on Friday as thousands of South Africans were setting off on anti-Zuma marches, Zikalala said the country would see more “challenges” emerging from global markets, but he believed the country would persevere and not see economic devastation, like Zimbabwe, as predicted by “prophets of doom”.
“We are also going to see a treasury that might break from that bureaucratic treasury, which is technocratic in nature, to one that might embrace the reforms in terms of institutions and the redistribution system of the economy.”
Zikalala said the government would respond to the urgent call for economic freedom from South Africans. “Our struggle was not only about the right to vote but about improving the material conditions of our people.”