Public Service and Administration Minister Faith Muthambi is determined to implement radical economic transformation through the public service.
Addressing the Black Business Council Roundtable Discussion in Johannesburg on Tuesday, the Minister said her Ministry together with the Black Business Council will work together to move South Africa forward.
She said President Jacob Zuma has vowed that ‘economic transformation will take centre-stage’ during his last term of office.
He promised that “the structure of the economy will be transformed through industrialisation, broad-based black economic empowerment and through strengthening and expanding the role of the state in the economy”.
She said the first phase of transition, consolidation of formal democracy was complete. “The country has entrenched all the necessary checks and balances such as free press, independent judiciary, independent chapter 9 institutions, and regular free and fair elections.”
However, the Minister said this achievement is under threat owing to the unfinished business of economic transformation.
“The situation is not any different in top management in which whites continue to rule the roost with 72% demographic representation and Africans grossly under-represented with a measly 10%,” Minister Muthambi said.
The second challenge facing the country is the persistence of the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
Minister Muthambi said the objective of radical economic transformation is two-fold which is to place ‘the economy on a qualitatively different path that ensures more rapid, sustainable growth, higher investment, increased employment, reduced inequality’ and second is to ‘deracialise the economy’.
She said transforming the productive structures and relations would be at the core of placing the economy on a qualitative path.
“This would require moving away from a situation where the country remains largely an exporter of primary products,” the Minister said.
She said Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies has elaborated on the form and key elements of radical economic transformation.
He argues that first, radical economic transformation must entail radical transformation of production relations, second it must lead to less conflictual, characterised by more equitable benefit-sharing and by less inequality.
Lastly, it must place ‘job creation at the heart of work programmes and promoting a more inclusive job-rich pattern of growth.’