At a press conference at Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) headquarters in Braamfontein on Thursday afternoon, party leader Julius Malema said Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s economic policies amount to a “direct declaration of war against the working class and black people in general”.
Malema was referring to Mboweni’s recently released economic recovery blueprint.
The EFF leader said he was not surprised that the government’s policy direction in the document was “dictated from [an] imperialist Euro-American academy like Harvard University”.
While it is unclear whether Harvard University was indeed involved in the document, Mboweni did hold a discussion colloquium with economists and academics in December 2018, which included participants from Harvard and sought to discuss ways to grow SA’s economy.
Malema said the reason he was not surprised that economic policy was now “dictated” by Harvard was that “the ANC conference was openly bought by white monopoly capital”, referring to the recent controversy surrounding President Cyril Ramaphosa’s CR17 campaign for the ANC presidency. A report released by Sunday Independent cited leaked emails as showing that prominent white business-people such as Nicky Oppenheimer and Raymond Ackerman donated millions to the campaign.
It is the focus on privatisation in Mboweni’s recently released document, titled “Economic transformation, inclusive growth and competitiveness: Towards an economic strategy for SA,” which Malema, in particular, takes exception to.
“Mboweni’s document seeks the privatisation of key assets of the state like Eskom, Transnet, and water. It also plans to keep the banking sector outside the control of the state,” Malema said.
“It is a fact that with privatisation always comes job losses, casualisation, and outsourcing. We are back to the days of the introduction of [government’s Growth, Employment and Redistribution strategy GEAR] that saw state companies being privatised, including the shutdown of universities.”
The EFF leader called on SA leftists to unite to stop the “coming ANC war against the working class”.
“We call on the left in South Africa, from the independent trade union movement to political formations inside and outside legislatures to unite,” he said.
“The EFF will invest all its efforts to find a common platform for the left to emerge with a common program and speak in one voice.
“If a unity has been forged against Zuptas over a broad church platform, unity can and must be forged against the coming neoliberal war by the ANC,” he said, referring to unity between political movements that took place in reaction to the controversial Gupta family’s alleged capture of the South Africa state.