‘Slaves in our own nation’: South Africa’s ANC urges economic freedom against white monopoly capital
The struggle for economic emancipation of South Africa’s black population should be unstoppable, according to the ANC (African National Congress) secretary-general Ace Magashule.
Speaking at a memorial lecture in honor of South African activist Walter Sisulu, he said that “dark forces” in the ruling party are hellbent on distracting from the struggle for economic freedom and the battle against white monopoly capital.
“The struggle for economic emancipation of our people is and must be unstoppable. We can no longer be slaves in our own nation. We can no longer be counted as the poorest of the poor, while those who hold our wealth through historic theft still enjoy it,” Magashule said as cited by the Sunday Times.
It is unacceptable that the economy is still in white hands, he said, adding the ANC has to remain steadfast in the struggle for economic freedom.
“It just cannot be that 25 years after our first democratic elections, the control of the resources of our country is still primarily in the hands of white people, who are the descendants of colonists who stole our wealth and land in the first place,” the secretary-general said.
Magashule added: “We cannot allow a few to be co-opted into the power structure (of the mainly white rich), while many (indeed most blacks and African people) still remain poor. We cannot defeat white monopoly capital by allowing it to co-opt us.”
More than two decades since the end of apartheid, the ruling ANC party says it is still trying to tackle racial disparities in land ownership. South Africa’s 50-million-strong population is predominantly black, but, according to government statistics, white citizens own 72 percent of farmland. The country’s new president, Cyril Ramaphosa, pledged last year to return the lands owned by white farmers since the 1600s to the black citizens of the country without compensation for the owners.
ANC secretary-general echoed Ramaphosa, saying: “Our mandate is to expropriate land without compensation… to nationalize the Reserve Bank… to transform the financial institutions and banks in order to serve the needs of our people.”
According to him, the ANC should implement national health insurance, the national minimum wage, and should “stop privatization of state-owned resources.”
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