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Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is aware of the economic transformation challenges faced by the state.
Gordhan delivered this year’s budget in Parliament and emphasised the need for the country’s wealth and economic opportunities to be ‘equitably shared’.
He said but this was also influenced by the global economy.
“We need to transform in order to grow, but we need to grow in order to transform,” he told members of Parliament on Wednesday (22 Feb).
“This is not a transformation to be achieved through conquest, conflict or extortion, as in our past.
“We do not seek to reproduce the racial domination that was the hallmark of apartheid nationalism. Our transformation will be built through economic participation, partnerships and mobilisation of all our capacities,” Gordhan said.
“It is a transformation that must unite, not divide South Africans,” he warned.
He said today as leaders they find themselves at a crossroads and which requires that they consult and learn from the wisdom of past ANC heroes, such as Oliver Tambo and Nelson Mandela.
Gordhan said the growth of the country’s economy was very slow, at 1% each year per capita and this happened during the time when unemployment was too high and businesspeople stressed.
“We face an uncertain and complex global environment and at the same time we face immense transformation challenges,” the finance minister said.
“We must overcome the inequalities and divisions of our society. All South Africans must share in a more prosperous future,” he said.
He said there was a need to build a new national consensus and “a new commitment” to deliver, focused on the challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
“Without transformation, growth will reinforce inequality and without growth, transformation will be distorted by patronage,” Gordhan said.
“The relationships between labour and capital, rich and poor, black and white, men and women, town and township, urban and rural, still reflect the entrenched legacy of colonialism and apartheid.
“Wealth is produced and allocated along lines that remain fundamentally unjust.
“We agree with President Zuma that a new perspective on economic transformation is required,” he said.
Read full 2017 budget speech here.
(edited by ZK)
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