Johannesburg – The ANC’s second transition is necessary to overcome the compromises it made in the fight for democracy, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday.
“One of the causes of the slow pace to economic freedom is that ahead of [the first democratic election in] 1994… we went through a negotiations process,” Zuma said in Midrand.
“We had to make certain compromises in the national interest, and these were absolutely necessary to make. We had to be cautious about restructuring the economy in order to maintain economic stability and confidence at the time.”
Zuma was opening the policy conference of the ruling African National Congress.
He said the apartheid era’s economic power had remained intact.
“The ownership of the economy is still primarily in the hands of white males, in which it has always been.”
A document on the second transition was one of the ANC’s 13 policy documents which would be discussed during the four-day conference.
Zuma said the second transition would make the country a “true democratic developmental state… which has a number of instruments it can use to facilitate change”.
The first transition was still important because it had ushered in an era of democracy in South Africa.
“The time has come to do something more drastic to accelerate change towards economic transformation and freedom.”
Zuma asked delegates to discuss the notion of a second transition when dealing with the strategy and tactics document.
“It is time to ask questions about the present and future… the last 18 years was the first transition. We are calling for a dramatic shift… to deal with the triple challenge[s] of poverty, unemployment and inequality.”