'Black people must be bold enough to make material change'

The ANC’s Gwede Mantashe says black South Africans must take practical steps against racism.

African National Congress (ANC) Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) says racial tension in South Africa cannot be resolved through debates and dialogue, but material change to the economy and ownership patterns.

But the party's Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe says black people in the country need to be bold enough to make a material change.

The ANC says racist South Africans have become emboldened in recent years and the country must respond to the frustrations of the victims of racism.

Mantashe says black South Africans must take practical steps against racism.

"Black South Africans cannot continue exaggerating the domination of whites. They must actually be bold enough to confront racism."

Mantashe says victims of racism cannot be classified as racists.

"It cannot be seen as racism from both ends as it's not. Those who are victims are impatient, those who have been beneficiaries of racism are emboldened."

The party has laid criminal charges against four people who posted racist tweets on social media this year, but says these individuals don't represent the entire country.


The ANC has unpacked its five-point plan to tackle what it calls inequality under the Democratic Alliance (DA)-led Cape Town City Council if it wins in the upcoming local government election.

The ANC is yet to decide on a mayoral candidate for the elections and says the issue of building low-cost housing in affluent areas will be a top priority if it takes office.

The party's leader in council Tony Ehrenreich says its budget would be focused on bridging the gap between affluent and poor communities.

"We must at least spread the resources equally and it must be in favour of those who don't have an alternative. If people on the Cape Flats need buses, we'll take them away from Milnerton where people have alternative transport."

Ehrenreich says an ANC administration would crackdown on incidents of racism and introduce by-laws that would punish those found guilty of racial prejudice.

He adds the party's plans are geared to redress the legacy of apartheid which he claims has continued under the current administration.


The ruling party says the state must do everything it can to prevent the economy from sliding into a recession and has warned that another ratings downgrade would be disastrous.

The ruling party concluded its three day NEC Lekgotla in Centurion yesterday, where it discussed its campaign for the local government elections and the state of the economy.

The party's comments follow warnings by ratings agency Standard and Poor's that it is closely monitoring investment in the country.

"One issue that we need to work on constantly is to prevent another downgrade of the credit rating. If we get that, we will be in trouble and it will be very expensive to get loans," Mantashe explained.