EFF MPs singing and chanting in NA chamber. Picture: ANA

In The News South Africa

#SONA2017: Radical transformation of the economy is a farce, says Afribusiness

CAPE TOWN, February 10 (ANA) – President Jacob Zuma’s 2017 State of the Nation Address (Sona) would be remembered for his “passive economic message” along with flying fists between parliamentary officials and members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), ⁠⁠⁠AfriBusiness said on Friday.

Zuma delivered the Sona during a joint sitting of National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Thursday which descended into chaos when the MPs from the EFF were thrown out of the house. Soon after that the Democratic Alliance (DA) contingent walked out.

Zuma’s Sona economic message centred around the radical transformation of the economy, more black ownership of key industries, as well as constitutional measures to redistribute the land to black people.

Afribusiness law and policy analyst, Armand Greyling, said Sona 2017 could only be described as one of the most disturbing parliamentary sessions in South African history, and a “boxing match” between Zuma and the business sector.

“Despite all the violence, Zuma’s speech, as expected, was mostly about a more aggressive stance on the implementation of land reform by accepting and implementing the long-debated Land Expropriation Bill,” Greyling said in a statement.

The Bill has been referred back to Parliament due to a lack of proper public participation.

Greyling said that the legislation would put private property ownership in jeopardy, creating a ripple effect that would cause foreign investment within the country to shrink.

Zuma also advised land claimants to accept the restitution of claimed land, rather than financial compensation, which Greyling said was an “ill-advised comment”.

Greyling also said that Zuma was seeking to implement policies that undermine private property ownership and the principle of a free market, and sought to alienate white business owners through talk of radical social economic transformation.

“Zuma has made it clear that radical social economic transformation will be the next step in South Africa’s economic future. His statement that the government’s intent is to make the economy more inclusive is however a farce,” Greyling said.

“What the ANC rather seeks to achieve is to make economic participation more beneficial to some, whilst marginalising other groups. The future threats toward the private business sector are real and should not be underestimated. Private property ownership for example will come under more severe pressure as time progresses.”

– African News Agency (ANA)

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