HARARE – Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s adviser, Professor Chris Malikane, has warned South Africans to be prepared for the worst if radical economic transformation is to succeed.
Malikane was speaking last night at the Blacks in Dialogue event at the Devonshire Hotel in Johannesburg, which was organised by the Black First Land First movement.
Malikane reiterated his call for a new economic policy and for an amendment to the Constitution to nationalise key sectors of the economy.
“It’s true that this country will plunge [into crisis] and become like Venezuela and Zimbabwe. India went through the same pain.
“If we are real about transformation, we need to be real and strengthen our people ideologically and politically. We need to organise and educate our people. Did you think to transform is going to be nice?” he asked.
“We need a two-thirds majority to change the Constitution. Otherwise, to achieve what we want to achieve, we need to go that route [take up arms]. Let’s try two-thirds. I don’t like war,” Malikane said.
A decision to take up arms would have to be discussed and not be a decision made by an individual, he said.
“It’s not for me to decide. It’s the progressive forces that must decide. My role is to unite these progressive forces. Taking up arms is one thing, but building a country is another,” he said.
Malikane added that there were black people defending white monopoly capital.
“Black people are not homogenous. There are opportunists, who, at the sound of R1, will jump. There are classes within black people.
“For example, there are those who own farms and aspire to be like white farmers. There are sectors within black society that have sold out,” he said.
Malikane said it was time for the country to decide the way forward.
“Is there a better route to the promised land? What we need is a broad, united front,” he said.
Trade unions, student formations and political parties needed to come forward and discuss how radical economic transformation should be implemented.
He said the national question was based on the fact that Africans were dispossessed, dominated and exploited.
He lambasted his critics, saying radical economic transformation would be based on a democratic state monopoly, and would not promote wealth for a few – and the black working class would have to be involved for it to succeed.
Land – including private property – had to be expropriated without compensation, he said. Compensation would come in the form of paying for tractors and buildings, not for the actual land.
“We need to go to such an extent that even pastors must pray about this programme,” he said.
Malikane said union federations Cosatu and new formation Saftu also promoted the idea of radical economic transformation and agreed on the expropriation of land without compensation.
He also said the terms of reference of the forthcoming judicial enquiry into state capture should be stretched as far back as 1985.
Malikane also told the gathering that he wrote his paper as a contribution to the upcoming ANC policy conference and he hoped branches would take it up if it resonated with them.