Poverty still remains a challenge for the ANC: Zuma

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In his opening speech at the 4th National Policy Conference of the ANC, President Jacob Zuma highlighted the achievements of the ruling party, but reiterated that poverty still remained a great challenge. Zuma said , “Having scored many achievements during the first 18 years, there is also widespread consensus that we have been unable to reach the goal of a truly prosperous, inclusive, non-racial and non-sexist society. The triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment persists, affecting Africans, women and the youth in particular.” The President said that it is time for a dramatic shift to economic transformation so that the challengers can be dealt with decisively. “Amongst underlying causes of the slow pace towards economic freedom, is the fact that ahead of the 1994 breakthrough, we went through a negotiations process at CODESA followed by a negotiated settlement.” He says the country had to make certain compromises of national interest. “For example, we had to be cautious about restructuring the economy, in order to maintain economic stability and confidence at the time.” “Thus, the economic power relations of the apartheid era have in the main remained intact.” Zuma openly said that the economic power of South Africa still remains with white males, an issue that has been carried forward from the apartheid era. The importance of achieving all of this should be the crux of this conference said the President. “Towards this end, conference must seriously discuss the proposal that the 53rd national conference in Mangaung must adopt a decade-long programme of organisational renewal, running from 2012 to 2022.”

– By Luvuyo Mdeni