Mineral resources and energy minister Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA)
ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe has come to the defence of Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s recently released economic transformation policy document saying instead of rejecting it, critics should engage it and contribute their own ideas.

The Mineral Resources and Energy minister was addressing the 30th anniversary rally of Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Poprcu), which during its four-day elective conference this week called for President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire Mboweni.

The event took place in Durban on Saturday after the conference ended on Friday by re-electing Zizamele Cebekhulu as Popcru president.

Mantashe said if Mboweni’s document was thoroughly engaged it would grow the economy. He said the ANC had complained to Mboweni that the document was silent on complex issues of mining.

“I am inviting all our allies to engage with ideas, not processes.

“I still want the party (SACP) to walk into Luthuli House and say to us ‘here is the proposal on how to improve the economy’, and if we do that we are going to work together to destroy high unemployment, poverty and inequality,” he said.

He accused Mboweni’s critics of being preoccupied with attacking the whole document instead of contributing ideas that would help to turn around the economy for the betterment of the country.

Addressing delegates during the opening of the Popcru conference, Cebekhulu accused Mboweni of being aloof and undermining resolutions that were taken at the ANC conference in 2017, with regard to economic transformation and Gauteng e-tolls.

“It (is) time you stand up to say Tito must go. We want to say to the president (Cyril Ramaphosa) that Tito must go.

"The president can say something, but he (Mboweni) would freely contradict the president,” said Cebekhulu.

Mantashe, who is the former SACP chairperson, also told hundreds of Popcru members at the rally the country would thrive if it adopted the mixed economy model instead of rejecting free market policy in favour of socialism.

Political Bureau