DEFENDING: The ANCYL believes the motion of no confidence is a cheap tactic by opposition parties to unseat the party.

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) has lashed out at South African billionaire Johann Rupert after the businessman described the organisation's program for radical economic transformation as nothing more than a “code name for theft”. 

In a statement released on Thursday, the ANC said that Rupert's utterances were " disingenuous, and extremely opportunistic."

 " We condemn this arrogant attitude towards the majority of South Africans who have an active interest and are drivers of the change envisaged through radical economic transformation.

"The African National Congress has committed itself to a radical reshaping of our economy and social relations - defining radical economic transformation as the quest for fundamental change in the structure, systems, institutions and patterns of ownership, management and control of the economy in favor of all South Africans, especially the poor, the majority of whom are African and female," read the statement.

Also read: South Africa’s richest man calls President Zuma’s policy ‘theft’

The ANC says that achieving radical economic transformation will demand structurally changing the fundamental features of South Africa’s political economy and dismantling of an economic structure which continues to perpetuate inequality and monopolistic tendencies that favor of Rupert and his ilk.

"The discourse on radical economic transformation is informed by the racial inequalities that are evident in the economic life of South Africa. These inequalities are a legacy of the social engineering and structural underpinnings of the Apartheid political economy. By its design the colonial system, and particularly its apartheid form, enforced a social order in which access to economic opportunity was an exclusive privilege of white people," says the party.

Johann Rupert.

They say that the black majority is locked into a cycle of serving only as cheap labour that is super exploited for the purposes of capital accumulation by a white minority. This has resulted in a systemic trap of an over concentration of economic assets in the hands of white people and a systematic exclusion of successive generations of black people from sustainable economic livelihood. 

President Jacob Zuma File picture: Independent Media

 "The ANC will unapologetically continue to lead the people of South Africa towards  improving the collective welfare of our people and will not be deterred by naysayers such as Rupert.  We will instead redouble its efforts to effect the change required to deal with the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. We have full confidence in our institutions of democratic accountability to ensure this is done in a manner consistent with the stated objectives and within the confines of our laws. For his part, Rupert would be well advised to desist from derogatory, unfounded statements based on his innate inclination to preserve privilege and prosperity for a few," read the statement.