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Wed May 25 20:51:08 CAT 2016

EFF wants 'mixed economy'

Bekezela Phakathi | 13 February, 2016 10:55
EFF leader Julius Malema. File photo.
Image by: Gallo Images / Roger Sedres

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is not proposing the shutdown of "private capital"‚ but is pushing for a “mixed economy” with the state taking the lead‚ EFF leader Julius Malema said.

Malema faced off with scenario planner Clem Sunter during a debate on the future of the economy . The debate‚ dubbed “rumble in the urban jungle"‚ was organised by the Cape Chamber of Commerce.

“We are not proposing the shut down of private capital...we want a mixed economy with the state being the leader‚” said Mr Malema during the emotionally charged debate which was attended by a large number of business leaders at a Cape Town hotel. Mr Malema touched on the controversial issue of land redistribution saying nothing could be achieved before land was expropriated without compensation.

“We will never address racial division if we do not address the fact that (land) ownership is racially divided... We want our dignity back. 80% of land is owned by white people yet 80% of the people in this country are black...without the land we are nothing‚” the EFF leader said. Nationalisation of land‚ mines and banks has been front and centre of EFF policies.

The nationalisation of banks as a policy statement is more centred on the creation of a state-owned bank‚ providing affordable loans‚ than targeting the existing big banks.

Mr Malema said last year that when the party spoke of nationalising South Africa’s mines‚ it meant that the state would own 60% of the operation. He has said this move would not chase away investors‚ as some of the same mining companies that operated in South Africa had willingly ceded 51% ownership to the Botswana government.

During Friday’s debate‚ Mr Malema said it would be only through state intervention and control of strategic sectors that real change can be brought about. He however said that under EFF rule‚ land redistribution would be done in a peaceful manner.

“We do not want a Zimbabwe here. It (land redistribution) has to be done legally in way that will not compromise the economy...all of us need to surrender our land to the state.”

Mr Sunter mainly talked about entrepreneurship arguing that focussing on growing small businesses would help the country realise its full potential.

“We haven’t structured our economy in a way that encourages entrepreneurs...We have to think of ways of opening up our economy‚ that is why I have been calling for an economic CODESA‚” Mr Sunter said

He agreed with Mr Malema that “economic apartheid” still prevailed in SA.

“If we are talking about economic freedom and creating 5 million jobs‚ you will have to first create 1 million small businesses‚” said Mr Sunter.

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