African National Congress (ANC) Treasurer-General Zweli Mkhize. PHOTO: Siphelele Dludla/ANA
Johannesburg - Radical economic transformation grew out of the ANC’s 2012 national elective conference and was not a term conjured up by the disgraced British PR firm Bell Pottinger.

This was according to ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize who addressed a Black Business Council (BBC) summit in Sandton on Friday.

Mkhize said a united ANC which had “no factions and divisions” was the only vehicle to ensure that the BBC’s vision of an all-inclusive economy was achieved.

“A united ANC will have a strong influence on the focus of clean governance, fighting against corruption and fixing the economy,” Mkhize said.

He added that a united ANC would enable it to prioritise economic growth and jobs as well as radical economic transformation which was formulated by the ANC at its 2012 elective conference.

“Radical economic transformation is not the construction of Bell Pottinger. We took a decision at that conference to increase the involvement of black businesses in the mainstream economy,” Mkhize said.

He, however, conceded that 23 years after democracy “many more hills have to be climbed” to address a lot of outstanding issues.

Mkhize made an admission that political freedoms such as the independence of the judiciary and the existence of Chapter 9 institutions such as the SA Human Rights Commission far outweigh progress made in the economy.

“There is no doubt that the judiciary is independent. Even the president and minister appear before our courts but a lot more needs to be done to improve the economy of the country.

“It is saddening over the past years, we’ve been presiding over a declining quality of life and increasing levels of poverty and inequality,” he emphasised.

He said there were poor black people still surviving on an annual income of R74000 while white people in the same category were earning an income of R445000, saying that was an indication that “the impact of apartheid has not changed”.

According to him, it was for these reasons that the ANC was emphasising procurement reform and to force government to intervene in ensuring that black business does have access in doing business with government.

Mkhize was encouraged by BBC members to take up opportunities but warned against fronting saying the new strategy was to “move away from concentrated ownership”.

BBC president Dr Danisa Baloyi said its members were seeking to open doors for black businesses which were still largely owned by big corporates.

In her address, she broke away from the tradition of attacking white businesses which were perceived to be opposed to transformation and pleaded with them to open their doors to black business.

Baloyi, in her appeal, singled out billionaire Anton Rupert, who recently said that radical economic transformation meant “theft” and asked him to consider opening opportunities for black people in his business empire.

Political Bureau