JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma reiterated a call on Monday for radical reforms to shift the balance of “monopoly” economic power away from whites who dominated under apartheid, saying without such change blacks would stay poor for a long time.
He made the remarks, reiterating a staple criticism levelled by his ruling ANC about the country’s economy, against the backdrop of widespread allegations of corruption against Zuma and his friends, the Indian-born Gupta brothers.
Zuma was responding to a question about his role as an enemy of “white capital”, during an interview with the ANN7 news network, which was founded by the Guptas. Zuma and the Guptas have denied any wrongdoing.
“I don’t know why there is a debate in fact. Because there is a monopoly capital and in South Africa it is white ... because of our history, it does have a colour. It is white,” Zuma, who steps down as head of the ANC in December but can remain head of state until elections due in 2019, said.
“Companies that dominate in the mines, there are not many ... You will find the same companies in charge. That means they are monopolising the economy and they’re not black,” he said.