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Jesse Jackson: Most South Africans aren't economically free

Jackson told a business breakfast in Sandton that the country needs to ensure that black people own shares in big franchises and international companies.

Reverend Jesse Jackson. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - American civil rights activist Jesse Jackson says South Africa still needs to defeat a form of apartheid based on resources, as the majority of citizens are not economically free.

He's told a business breakfast in Sandton that the country needs to ensure that black people own shares in big franchises and international companies.

Jackson says that black people need to have shares in car dealerships and the advertising sector.

“For example, Toyota is here. You meet with Toyota, you may get a share in car dealerships and supplies.”

Jackson says black people are the majority and should have more ownership, but instead the private sector seems to have all the leverage.

"You have the talent and the market, leverage that for growth. If it comes from the people, its called democracy."

Jackson says that after apartheid, black people were afforded more rights, but white people just got richer.

WATCH: Economic apartheid still exists

Jackson says although apartheid brought an end to racial segregation in South Africa, the country still needs to overcome economic segregation.

Jackson says he’s concerned the minority of the country still has access to the majority of the economy.

Jackson says the black masses have been locked out of many economic sectors and must be given a fair opportunity to participate.

“Land and trucking, shipping, economics, banking, health systems, media.”

He says it’s not right that some people have to work harder for better economic opportunities while others enjoy the advantages of privilege.

“Democratise privileges, you cannot have a monopoly on privileges, you must democratise privileges as well as the economy.”

Jackson says government and the private sector must have fair rules to give all people equal access to the economy.

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