ANC: South Africa is far better than other African countries, despite its challenges

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Durban – Despite facing a litany of challenges like high youth unemployment rate, grinding poverty in black townships, failing education and health systems and collapsing infrastructure, the ANC believes that South Africa is still far better off than its sister African countries.

The governing party which is often accused by its critics of inheriting a piece of well-oiled economic machinery in 1994 and running it to the ground in 28 years of misrule and rampant corruption, says it is for that reason many able-bodied migrants flock to it.

This is contained in a discussion document that was discussed during the two-day special sitting of the party’s national executive committee (NEC) on Sunday and Monday.

The document specifically dwells on economic transformation and it was presented in preparation for the party’s national general council (NGC – also known as the policy conference) which will be held in July.

“Whilst South Africa is experiencing real difficulties, it is still far better off than many other countries in Africa and beyond. This has resulted in a flood of migration. There is a need to ensure compliance with labour and immigration laws by employers, for government to enforce the rule of law, but also to work with the region and continent to unlock their economic growth and address the causes of mass migration,” reads the document which was circulated among ANC members.

In other economic issues, the document touched on issues of state-owned companies (SOEs) and their constant bailouts which have left economists alarmed. It said some of them have to be merged since they often duplicate each other.

“What is clear is that the current model is dying. If we want to save those SOEs and those workers’ jobs, then we need concrete plans that are based on the realities of the economy and the needs of workers. The era of bailouts for SOEs is over. It is not sustainable.

“Workers whose jobs are at risk must be reskilled and redeployed to where vacancies exist. Workers should be assisted with seed capital and support to establish their own SMMEs. We should not be sending workers to the unemployment queue,” reads the document.

On financing of infrastructure projects, the document says funding is still heavily reliant on the State and is predominantly financed through cash, savings and debt by the government, which is not sustainable and desirable.

It proposed that there should be blended financing involving the State and the private sector.

After this, the discussion on this document is expected to move to the nine provinces, regions and ANC branches for their input.

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