Mail and Guardian

Dineo Bendile 20 Jun 2017 19:53

Ramaphosa called on South Africans to look beyond the misuse of radical economic transformation as an empty slogan. (David Harrison/M&G)
Ramaphosa called on South Africans to look beyond the misuse of radical economic transformation as an empty slogan. (David Harrison/M&G)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has lashed out against ANC leaders who intentionally misuse the term radical economic transformation to hide alleged incidents of state capture.

Ramaphosa says the term has come to gain a negative reputation because of a carefully-crafted narrative, which seeks to paint anyone questioning wrongdoing in government as an enemy of transformation.

“We now know that some highly paid PR specialises contrived a plan to use terms such as radical economic transformation and white monopoly capital essentially to launch a publicity offensive in defence of their clients. And we all know who those clients are,” Ramaphosa said.

“It was part of defining a new narrative where those who stood in the way of their clients’ interests were presented as being opposed to radical economic transformation and representing the interests of what one would call white monopoly capital”.

Ramaphosa was speaking at the Gordon Institute of Business Science in Johannesburg today during a leadership engagement forum on issues facing the country’s economy.

Earlier this year, international public relations firm Bell Pottinger was uncovered to have masterminded a “white monopoly capital” campaign around the Guptas to improve their image and deflect attention from their questionable dealings with government. The campaign also involved using Radical Economic Transformation as a defence of Gupta business dealings.

Those who have brandished the term are known to be supporters of president Jacob Zuma and, by extension, are supporting Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to take over as president.

Ramaphosa called on South Africans to look beyond the misuse of radical economic transformation as an empty slogan and work towards achieving “sustained inclusive growth” through its proper implementation

“We should not be distracted or even side-tracked by the misuse of the term. What we need to do is to go beyond slogans. Is to go to the heart of the matter and look what needs to be done to redress the imbalances of past,” Ramaphosa continued.

“We must therefore focus on the real substance of radical economic transformation and the steps that need to be taken should be steps all of us as South Africans take”.