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Mkhize: SA democracy at risk without radical economic transformation

The ANC is holding its fifth national policy conference in Nasrec, south of Johannesburg.

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

JOHANNESBURG – African National Congress (ANC) Treasurer General Zweli Mkhize says if the country doesn't move to implement radical economic transformation, it risks losing its democracy.

Mkhize on Saturday addressed the business community and ANC members at the Progressive Business Forum’s breakfast.

The ANC is holding its fifth national policy conference in Nasrec, south of Johannesburg.

Mkhize says the business community shouldn’t be spooked by radical economic transformation as it isn’t aimed at fighting the private sector.

“It has nothing to do with fighting the private sector. No, it’s about helping the private sector and saying that the future belongs to a much broader base.”

LISTEN: What is radical economic transformation? Pravin Gordhan explains

He says it’s important to broaden the participation of South Africans in the economy.

“If we don’t go radical at the way we introduce new owners, we’ll widen inequality so badly that our entire democracy will be at risk.”

Earlier, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies also called on business leaders to take a radical approach to economics.

Davies says the future of South Africa lies in radical economic transformation.

"It can place us on a higher growth path which can deliver high levels of more inclusive economic growth. If we don't do this we can't be in the position to solve poverty, inequality and unemployment. I think this is what's staring us in the face."

The minister says it’s important to empower small businesses to ensure stability.

Davies says it’s important that government and the private sector work together to keep the country afloat in the current economic climate.

He adds the country must also take note of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“We’ve got to bring about fundamental changes in the productive structure of our economy. This includes changes to the patterns of ownership and management in favour of the majority of the population.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)