Hon House Chair and hon members, the ANC's economic vision rests on the Freedom Charter's call that the people shall share in the country's wealth and that the national wealth of our country beneath the soil, the banks and monopoly industry shall be transferred to the people as a whole.
The ANC's Strategy and Tactics document of 2007, argues that a national democratic society will have a mixed economy with state, co-operative and other forms of social ownership and private capital. The balance between ownership and private ownership of investment resources will be determined on the balance of evidence in relation to national development needs and the concrete tasks of the National Democratic Revolution at any point in time.
As stated in the 8 January statement of the ANC, the vast mineral wealth of our country that lies beneath the soil has been transferred, through the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, to the ownership of the state on behalf of the people as required by the Freedom Charter.
Attached to this is the right to levy royalties as well as a variety of regulatory instruments that will see communities benefiting from the economic activities in their areas. At the same time, the state is continuously building its capacity to lead economic development through development in partnership with all stakeholders - including the masses of our people who act as their own liberators and not passive recipients - of a national vision and strategic plan, as well as the implementation of the Industrial Policy Action Plan, Ipap.
However, we acknowledge that this has not yet been fully translated into equal ownership and for the full benefit of the vast majority of our people, who, in the context of the National Democratic Revolution remain Africans, in particular, and blacks in general.
As part of our second phase of democratic transition, we need to accelerate growth and intensify our programme for radical socioeconomic transformation by decisively overcoming the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
At the heart of this radical socioeconomic transformation is the need for co-ordinated interventions in a number of sectors to fundamentally change the structure of our economy, its ownership patterns and relations. Borrowing from Amilcar Cabral's, The Weapon of Theory, he states that a people that does not own and is not in control of its national productive forces will never determine its historical destiny.
The ANC government inherited a country whose commanding heights were owned and controlled by a few companies and individuals. Twenty years into our democratic dispensation, this concentration of control in certain sectors of the country's economy is still unacceptably high.
The structure of our economy is arranged in such a manner that the economy supports mineral exports, with a very high concentration of ownership and control whereby the richest 5% of households received more than 35% of the national population's income, and the richest 1% of households received about 20% of the national population's income. Therefore, needless to say, this must be changed.
It is important to note the point raised by Prof Guy Mhone, who argued that what matters is not the quantum of growth per se, but its quality. The primary aim of economic development is to advance a people-centered approach to economic development - human welfare - in a sustained manner over the long period of time. Doing this requires a structural and radical transformation of the South African economy - an economy that, in the words of Prof Mhone, can be termed as an enclave economy. According to him, and I quote:
Coexistence of two interrelated segments of labour force; a minority engaged in dynamic activities propelled by the capitalist imperative of accumulation, and a majority trapped in low productivity noncapitalist forms of production that are static from the standpoint of accumulation. The capitalist sector, which is the formal sector, exists as an enclave in the sea of poverty and underdevelopment.
He further argues that the problem is that this interrelated coexistence ultimately leads to a vicious cycle of economic stagnation and marginalisation of the majority.
The point, therefore, is that being able to address the high level of poverty in the country requires the total dismantling of the structure of this enclave economy in order to enable the majority of South Africans to meaningfully engage in productive economic activities.
The market on its own will not lead to more equitable development or job creation to close the gap between the haves and the have-nots unless the state intervenes decisively to mobilise stakeholders towards a common goal.
It is in this context that the 52nd National Conference of the ANC identified 15 pillars under which we need to pursue economic transformation.
Significant progress has been made in the implementation of these pillars, of which key amongst them was the creation of the National Planning Commission, NPC, which developed a living and dynamic policy document, the National Development Plan, NDP, which articulates the vision that is broadly in line with our objective of creating a national democratic society, and which should be used as a common basis for the mobilisation of society.
The ANC government remains committed to the implementation and realisation of the programmes as envisioned under the New Growth Path, NGP, and the Industrial Policy Action Plan, Ipap. These programmes are aimed at improving reindustrialisation, expanding and diversify our manufacturing sector and creating sustainable jobs across various sectors.
The ANC government has launched an ambitious infrastructure programme, which Minister Patel explained is the largest in the country's history and the largest on the continent of Africa.
There has been an increase in employment on these infrastructure projects and spending has drastically improved. Some of these infrastructure projects, especially with regard to social infrastructure, have become the most important interventions which support labour-intensive activities; provide for a more equitable ownership, especially collective ownership through the state, worker control and co-ops; and investment in people and communities through education, skills development and social programmes like health care, welfare, housing and water.
However, there is a serious problem with private voluntary social security arrangements in areas such as health care, retirement and the death and disability of a breadwinner. Aspects that need to be considered include compulsory contributions and participatory protected minimum benefits, and publicly accountable institutions.
There is therefore an urgent need for government, and the country as a whole, to carefully re-evaluate the quality of existing programmes and institutions - both public and private - that are focused on meeting the basic needs of our people.
The wealthiest countries in the world, as a group have the most comprehensive systems of social protection. Social security is an essential basic service in all successful states that have experienced long-term sustainable growth rates alongside successful poverty reduction.
In addition to creating jobs ... [Interjections.]