Zweli Mkhize: ANC takes blame for wrong investment patterns

He says the private sector shouldn’t implement transformation only because the legislation requires them but need to understand the economic gains

The ANC Treasurer General Zweli Mkhize. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – African National Congress (ANC) treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize says that the party takes the blame for what he calls wrong investment patterns in the township, saying it allowed for the private sector to kill township entrepreneurs.

Mkhize attended the business breakfast at the national policy conference on Friday morning alongside Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba who says radical economic transformation is needed to grow the economy to create more entrepreneurs.

He says the private sector shouldn’t implement transformation only because the legislation requires them but need to understand the economic gains.

At the same time, Mkhize says that the ANC government has realised that the current investment patterns perpetuate historical errors by having big businesses going into townships to make profits without improving the economy of the township.

Mkhize adds that the ANC must take responsibility for the slow pace of growth and persisting poverty levels in townships.

He says the investment patterns have been skewed to continue to advantage big business.

"The way our investment patterns are going, they're making sure that those who were safe during apartheid and didn't go to the townships, those were safe during the violence and didn't trade in township, they now find it easy."

Mkhize says this is something the ANC must fix.

At the same time, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba says while the private sector has come on board to assist with development in townships, there's been a mushrooming of malls in communities which do little to address economic problems.

"The people of KwaMashu only have to submit their very last income for somebody to take it away. How much of the mall do they own? And you can't say to them, your only role here in KwaMashu is to be employed. That can't be."

Gigaba says that business should consider the communities they operate in as more than just consumers.