MEMBER of Parliament and DA leader Mmusi Maimane said economic transformation in South Africa is hindered by historical injustices, during his public lecture on Economic Transformation in South Africa, on Friday August 18 at the Wits School of Governance.
Maimane argued that the distribution of wealth, opportunity and skills remain skewed along the discriminatory racial lines which were established under apartheid, and this remains uncorrected.
He suggested that for the economy to transform, the problematic historical injustices must first be dealt with.
“We have to address the situation by levelling the playing field to ensure that history does not continue to undermine the economic pool potential of the vast majority of South Africa,” he said.
Economic transformation can be “effectively achieved by multiplying poor black people’s access to income generating actives that can take the [people] out of poverty and into the middle class. We believe that, the economy must play a crucial role in uniting not dividing us. This is the principle that informs our perspective on economic transformation,” said Maimane.
Maimane also said that South Africans need an economy that will protect them, but at the same time, ”it is in the interests of all South Africans that this economy must be protected. That’s why all of us must collectively find it outrageous when someone says ‘when the rand falls we will pick it up’.”
Maimane was referring to a comment made by Nomvula Makonyane, the minister of water and sanitation, after the cabinet reshuffle in March caused the rand to plummet.
Lecture attendee, BEd second year student, Skhulile Ndawonde said she found the lecture insightful. “Economic transformation is one of the most controversial topics, whose roots are often not discussed. I think Mmusi Maimane did just that,” she said.
Mmashile Phalane, director of the Bathlabile Foundation and Eye News community newspaper, said he enjoyed the lecture as it also explored the role of the state and state enterprises.
Wits Vuvuzela, August 30, Maimane: “I can taste victory”