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Mkhize: ANC right to steer away from radical economic transformation changes

ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize says the party is right to steer away from radical changes in its economic transformation documents.

FILE: ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG – African National Congress (ANC) treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize says the party is right to steer away from radical changes in its economic transformation documents because it needs to ensure consistency.

Mkhize made the comments during the second day of the ANC’s policy conference on Saturday.

He was happy to defend the ANC from the claim that its economic discussion documents have not changed substantially over the last decade.

“There is a degree of consistency that we have to deal with in terms of how we approach economic policies. It’s important to make a point that the ANC should not be disruptive in the way it manages the policy process.”

Mkhize has stressed the need for policy consistency

WATCH: #ANCNPC day 1: Zuma talks unity, state capture & more

Mkhize also says Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane went beyond her mandate by finding that the Reserve Bank should change its own.

Last month Mkhwebane released a report in Pretoria, where she ordered the Special Investigating Unit to recover more than a billion rand from Absa.

She also ordered Parliament to amend the section of the Constitution which prescribes the Reserve Bank’s mandate.

The Public Protector found the Reserve Bank failed to protect public interest by bailing out Bankorp during the apartheid era and then did not recover the funds after Absa took over.

Mkhwebane’s call for an overhaul of the bank’s mandate rattled investors, hit the rand currency and exposed worsening divisions between state institutions, with President Jacob Zuma embroiled in a widening net of scandals.

“The one thing we don’t agree on from the Public Protector is the proposal to amend the Constitution.”

Mkhize says they aim to come with new ideas to grow the economy.

The radical economic transformation has been the buzz word for the ANC recently, with some leaders in the party embracing the term while others claim it’s being used by a faction that wants radical policies to benefit their families and friends.

WATCH: ‘We need to transform the lives of our people’

On Saturday, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies addressed the Progressive Business Forum's breakfast briefing in Nasrec.

Davies encouraged 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."

He called on government and the private sector work together to keep the country afloat in the current economic climate.

On Friday, day one of the ANC’s policy conference, President Zuma told the conference the party still represents the hopes, dreams and aspirations of the majority despite some problems facing the ANC.

He has also urged ANC delegates to spend a significant amount of time discussing how to grow the economy and redistribute land.

The president mentioned the technical recession and the ratings downgrades, saying delegates can't afford not to spend time on the economy.

“Our deliberations in this conference on the economy will need to look at what needs to be done to reignite growth over the next five years.”

Zuma previously urged ANC members to preach about radical economic transformation like scripture from the Bible.

Zuma told ANC members not to be discouraged when people criticise radical economic transformation.

However, advocate Thuli Madonsela said government’s take on radical economic transformation was wrong.

Last month, Madonsela said a policy could not be implemented as there had been no consultation.

She added it was unconstitutional.

“There is the possibility that it’s going to be a blanket that encourages wrongdoing. How do you challenge it?”

She said South Africa has the Equality Act, a policy meant to advance economic and social transformation.

Additional reporting by Clement Manyathela & Reuters.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)