Last Saturday the ANC secretary general, Ace Magashule, who has himself been accused of large-scale corruption, stated that the assets of white South Africans will be confiscated without compensation. He sketched a kind of Marxist-Leninist future for the country in which private property, banks and industries will be nationalised and “Africanised”.
“Our people demand service delivery, sustainable jobs, efficient health services, and an accountable government,” he said in a speech loaded with rhetoric while delivering the annual Walter Sisulu memorial lecture in Bloemfontein in the Free State.
Their hope still lay with the ANC, which dare not betray them. The people were refusing to be subtenants and squatters in the land of their birth. This was the current challenge – to better the quality of life of the people, and this could only be done when the ANC remained an unapologetic fighting force, he said.
“We must increase the capacity of the ANC and alliance partners to wage an unrelenting struggle against the theft of our wealth and our dignity.”
Economic self-determination of the African people was the next vital frontier of struggle. “We can never waver or falter in our determination to achieve that. Africans must build our own industries, and manufacture the very goods that we need. In fact, to put it bluntly, we must consume what we produce.
“We must go back to basics and rebuild our own economy, starting with the township economy. We too have come of age, and are willing to take charge of our affairs. [Former president] Nelson Mandela once warned us that: ‘Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies’.
“So it must not be argued that we are motivated by hate. We are motivated by the quest for justice. It is an irrefutable truth that for long as the poor are poor, the rich cannot sleep at night. As we remember comrade Walter Sisilu we dare not betray our true struggle for cheap media headlines, nor for the crumbs that come from the well laden table of white monopoly capital.
“We dare not betray our people with a view to gain favours from those who owe us our very wealth. Comrades, we must be resolute and steadfast. We are heading for troubled times, and we are surely coming for what is ours,” Magashule said.
The ANC was unwavering in its determination to implement the resolutions of the 54th national conference.
“Our determination is to foster a new momentum for the fundamental radical economic transformation (RET) of our socio-economic landscape. Our mandate is to expropriate land without compensation… to nationalise the Reserve Bank… to transform the financial institutions and banks in order to serve the needs of our people… to stop privatisation of state-own[ed] enterprises… the transfer of the political and socio-economic power into the hands of the overwhelming majority of our people, Africans in particular, and the black people in general,” Magashule said.