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AfricaMoney | March 10, 2017

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President Zuma calls for economic transformation

President Zuma calls for economic transformation

Replying to a question in the National Assembly on affirmative action and inequality, Zuma on Wednesday said inequality in terms of race was still very much a part of South African society. Referring to the latest statics, Zuma disagreed that the data on property ownership patterns and distribution of shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange indicated that historical injustices had been overcome.

He said society needed to draw a distinction between the ownership of assets or property by a few black people, compared to the majority that was still disadvantaged even after 19 years into democracy.

According to the 2012 Employment Equity Report, in the senior management category, white males comprised 59.1% of this category. Black people were the most under-represented in this category at 21.8%.

Citing another example of shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Zuma quoted the JSE 2012 report, which indicated that while 21% of shares of ownership of the top 100 companies were held by black people, direct black ownership was less than 5%.

Census 2011 showed that Africans, Indians and Coloureds made up 90.6% of the population. Zuma said these figures indicated serious under-representation of black people.

Africans represented 79.2%; Coloureds 8.9% and Indians 2.5%.

With regards to the standard of living in general, Census 2011 revealed that the income of the average white household still remained six times higher than that of the average African household.

Figures indicate that the average annual African household income was R60 613, while that of the white household was R365 164.

The Census also revealed that close to 1.9 million African households reported no income at all.

With this, Zuma said, government would continue working hard to reverse this legacy in order to build a truly non-racial, non-sexist, prosperous and equal society.

Social cohesion and nation building

Meanwhile, asked about social cohesion and nation building and how government intended to initiate and enhance the patriotism, Zuma said the nation as a whole had a collective responsibility to promote the country and promote harmony and togetherness.

Mentioning the Social Cohesion Strategy, which was approved by Cabinet in June 2012, and the national Social Cohesion Summit in Kliptown — Zuma said government was playing its own part.

A National Social Cohesion Report Back and Monitoring Summit will be convened next year when the country celebrates 20 years of freedom and democracy.

To enhance the social cohesion and nation-building agenda among opinion leaders, he said they had identified and appointed eminent persons to serve as Advocates for social cohesion.

This, according to President Zuma, will assist to heighten awareness and highlight the role of those who represent the core values of society.

The eminent persons include Advocate George Bizos, Judge Yvonne Mokgoro and Brigalia Bam as well as men and women who serve in institutions such as Brand SA as trustees.

“We can utilize their expertise since social cohesion is also about building the South African brand …We all have a responsibility to build such a society,” added Zuma. –

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Source: Government of South Africa


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