Political economist Moeletsi Mbeki says the African National Congress’ (ANC) economic policies are not focused on the poor people, but only on the middle class in the country. He says 14 years ago he suggested to the then-ANC president Jacob Zuma that to address unemployment, they need to involve communities in former homelands.

He says the party needs to assist them to grow vegetables commercially and supply commercial supermarkets so that they can become commercial farmers than receiving social grants.

According to Mbeki, suggestions to save the economy were ignored as far back as Zuma’s administration. One of these included doing away with Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) because it divides people.

Mbeki says the solution to South Africa’s poverty problem is to have policies that create employment.

“I think the ANC has had, in my view,  wrong economic policies and then they thought for the poor by the way what shall we do, give them social grants. Anyway, it will help them vote for us. So that was the core of the ANC economic policy. It is still the core of the ANC economic policy. The reinstatement of this R350 grant – they had abolished it. I think they had forgotten about the local government elections,” says Mbeki.

SA Economy | South Africa struggles to build an inclusive economy