Johannesburg, September 14 – The African National Congress (ANC) has lambasted South African billionaire, Johann Rupert for his remarks on Radical Economic Transformation in which he described the ANC program for radical economic transformation as nothing more than a “code name for theft”.
“It is these inherited racialised economic relations that have produced the generational wealth of the Rupert family that Mr Johan Rupert now commands,” said ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa. “His arrogant condemnation of the important discussion about economic transformation in our country therefore betrays his ill-gotten privilege.”
Kodwa condemned Rupert’s “arrogant attitude”, saying it was “extremely opportunistic coming as it does from a beneficiary of apartheid’s exclusionary policies”.
According to the ANC the discourse on radical economic transformation is informed by the racial inequalities that are evident in the economic life of South Africa.
“These inequalities are a legacy of the social engineering and structural underpinnings of the Apartheid political economy. By its design the colonial system, and particularly its apartheid form, enforced a social order in which access to economic opportunity was an exclusive privilege of white people”.
“In that formation, the black majority is locked into a cycle of serving only as cheap labour that is super exploited for the purposes of capital accumulation by a white minority. This has resulted in a systemic trap of an over concentration of economic assets in the hands of white people and a systematic exclusion of successive generations of black people from sustainable economic livelihood”.
The ANC said that Rupert’s attitude is part of the privileged sections of the society that threaten the very idea of a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa that they have always struggled for.
The party also said that it will continue to lead the people of South Africa towards improving the collective welfare of the people and will not be deterred by Rupert.
“We will instead redouble its efforts to effect the change required to deal with the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality”.
“For his part, Rupert would be well advised to desist from derogatory, unfounded statements based on his innate inclination to preserve privilege and prosperity for a few”.