9 June 2014

South Africa: Radical Economic Transformation - ANC's Puzzling Game of Cluedo, Chess and Poker


There it is again, like a fat Santa in shopping malls at Christmas time, bringing hope of merriment and magical gifts under the tree. The phrase "radical economic transformation" has been trumpeted out repeatedly throughout the ANC's election campaign, and now they are ready to implement it, says secretary general Gwede Mantashe. Do not ask for the term to be defined or specifics of what it entails, though. This is not the time for "conceptual clarity", says Mantashe. But like Christmas, it's coming. Apparently.

For two years now, political journalists have been trying to plough through ANC parlance to find out what exactly the ruling party's plans are to achieve economic growth. The use of the term "radical" began at the ANC's policy conference in June 2012, in the context of discussions of the party's strategy and tactics document, which propositioned that the country should enter into a second phase of transition.

"This second phase of the transition should be characterised by more radical policies and decisive action to effect thorough-going and continued democratic transformation, as well as the renewal of the ANC, the Alliance and the broad democratic forces," the ANC policy conference resolution read.


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