The KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Mr Sihle Zikalala Sihle Zikalala Photo: ANA Pictures
DURBAN - The KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Mr Sihle Zikalala has reassured private sector stakeholders that the province remained a sound investment destination.

Zikalala said notwithstanding the outcomes of the recent court case concerning the leadership in the province, KwaZulu-Natal remained single-mindedly focused on its goals of achieving sustainable economic growth and attracting investment.

“There is no need to panic. While we continue to move with expeditious urgency to address the court case outcomes, we remain equally committed to ensuring that KwaZulu-Natal remains on sound footing and on course to achieving its goal of becoming an economically prosperous province characterized by unity, equality, prosperity and democratic practice.”

Zikalala who was speaking to private sector stakeholders at a dialogue session organized by Ithala was also scathing in his criticism of detractors who described radical economic transformation as a looting mechanism.

Citing the country’s high inequality levels, Zikalala said the radical economic transformation programme was about redressing past imbalances.

“Anyone remotely familiar with the history of our country; the doomed apartheid project and the inequality which is the hallmark of our society today, would agree that our country needs to effect radical measures to address economic inequality. In this regard, we do not think that the pursuit of radical economic transformation is out of kilter with our stated objective of achieving a national democratic society.”

Zikalala said it was therefore an affront to the millions of Black Africans who continued to languish in poverty to liken radical economic transformation to looting.
“We find it to be highly patronising and full of harsh derision that it is, in the main, those who are stinking rich who make this assertion.”

Speaking at the same dialogue session, Executive Chairman of Zungu Investment Company, Mr Sandile Zungu lauded the province’s attempts to create more symbiotic partnerships between itself and the private sector.

“There is a great deal of commitment fro m the private sector to invest in South Africa. However, we do have to deal with the trust deficit that exists among social partners in our country. Government should not be anti-business and, likewise, business should not bash government. These partners need to work together.”

Mr Zungu cited the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban as a novel example of a successful public-private partnerships.