Government aims to deracialise economy through radical economic transformation: Zuma

24 September 2017 - 15:50 By Kgaugelo Masweneng
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President Jacob Zuma. File photo.
President Jacob Zuma. File photo.
Image: Reuters

President Jacob Zuma says his administration aims to deracialise the economy through radical economic transformation.

“We have indicated that we will build a better South Africa for all through radical socio-economic transformation ensuring that the ownership‚ control and management of the economy is deracialised and is not in the hands of white compatriots only‚” said Zuma.

He was delivering his main Heritage Day address at Kameelrivier‚ Mpumalanga‚ on Sunday morning.

Addressing a crowd dressed mostly in traditional attire‚ Zuma quipped that had he not left his Zulu attire in his KwaZulu-Natal home‚ he wouldn’t have worn a suit.

He said this year the government had decided to celebrate Heritage Day and Heritage Month under the theme: “The year of OR Tambo: Celebrating our Liberation Heritage”.

The president said that heritage day is a day in which South Africans express how proud they are as a nation. “We also celebrate our local food‚ colourful languages‚ dance.”

Zuma reflected on the liberation struggle of South Africa and icons that shaped the history of the country and were in the forefront of the Pan African vision‚ “which the ANC [African National Congress] has always stood for”.

“We recall the rich history of our struggle which brought us the freedom and democracy we enjoy today. Indeed we have a rich liberation heritage‚” he said.

Zuma said that the growth in representation by women was a key achievement. “The quest for gender equality and the participation of women in political life is another powerful element in the liberation heritage of South Africa‚”

Zuma appealed for the nation to end and act against “cold blooded” murder and widespread violence against women and children.

The president said that work was continuing in ensuring improvement in transportation‚ and the decentralisation of the economy‚ thus creating jobs locally.

He also spoke out against the use of culture to harm children through forced marriages and harmful practices of initiation schools.

“In promoting our culture and heritage we should be informed by the Constitution‚” he said.

The president also commended the role of faith-based organisations in preserving the heritage.

Zuma applauded local traditional artist Esther Mahlangu’s work‚ saying “it continues to dazzle the design world”.

Mahlangu has exhibited her work around the world for over 28 years and has collaborated with global brands on numerous projects.

Recently a bright Ndebele mural was painted in the streets of New York in the US in her honour.

Mahlangu was a special guest at the president’s address.

The province will sponsor a dedicated project on her work as part of “building a long lasting legacy of mama Mahlangu‚” Zuma said.

Zuma thanked Ndebele queen of music Nothembi Mkhwebane and iconic gospel singer Rebecca Malope for their contribution to South Africa’s heritage.

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