The African National Congress (ANC) on Monday, said it had resolved that government should buy struggling but productive poultry farms in a bid to save jobs and increase food security and production.
South African chicken producers, including Rainbow Chicken, are set to retrench more than 3,500 workers in one of the largest industry jobs bloodbaths as they struggle under heavy competition from cheap imported chickens from European Union countries.
Speaking during a post-NEC (National Executive Committee) Lekgotla media briefing on Monday, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said the party had resolved to pursue this as part of accelerating radical transformation of the economy and disrupt existing patterns of ownership and control.
On agriculture and land reform, Mantashe said the ANC decided to defend existing jobs and create new ones, by protecting and incentivising domestic businesses and industries.
“This includes the developmental state purchasing productive poultry farms currently being sold off in a bid to save jobs and increase food security and production,” Mantashe said.
“We need to sustain commercial agriculture and increase agricultural contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through the incremental implementation of the Maputo Declaration and increased exports.”
Mantashe said the lekgotla also called for government to develop and implement a programme for the transformation and de-racialisation of the highly concentrated financial sector in the interest of vast majority of the country.
Mantashe said the lekgotla also said government must fast-track the licensing of the Post Bank and ensure that it becomes the principal distributor of social grants.
On mining, the ANC directed government to consolidate states minerals holdings, promulgate the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Act, implement the Mining Phakisa agreements and leverage DFI support for beneficiation.
“The mining licence regime and charter must be utilised to facilitate BBEEE, local procurement, the development of black industrialists and SMMEs,” Mantashe said.
The ANC also called on the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) to address concerns of students who have not obtained results for last year and past years.
“The lekgotla directed the ANC to make its own proposals on funding of higher education and submit same to Heher Commission,” Mantashe said.
“Further resolved that the ANC convenes within the first quarter of the year, a Summit on Higher Education and Training with a specific focus on reaching consensus on future model for student funding.”
Other ANC Lekgotla proposals include issues that government must lead in securing all national key points using its own security services instead of private security companies and a proposal on how municipalities must be strengthened to be more pro-active in addressing peoples’ concerns.
The ANC Lekgotla directed that these priorities must guide and inform the forthcoming Government Lekgotla.
Radical socioeconomic transformation also took centre stage as the ANC said that it wanted to shift the economy by implementing pro-poor policies and make the state empower the disadvantaged instead of the rich.
The lekgotla, called to deliberate on and outline the priority programmes of the ANC-led government for the current year, was attended by members of the NEC, the leagues, alliance partners, veterans and government representatives.
Gwede Mantashe said the lekgotla had identified various arms of the state for redistribution as the tools at the disposal of the developmental state to advance radical socioeconomic transformation.
These include the Constitution, legislation and regulations, licensing, BBEEE and transformation charters, the national budget and procurement, state-owned companies and development finance institutions, as well as government programmes.
“Economic growth, accelerated radical socioeconomic transformation, land reform and redistribution, the funding of higher education, fighting crime and corruption as well as building the capacity of the state were identified as the key priorities of the ANC government for the current year,” Mantashe said.
“Achieving this requires a fundamental shift from a pure capitalist state to a state-managed developmentalist economy underpinned by a developmental public service.”
The ANC will hold its national elective conference from December 16 to 20 at a yet-to-be disclosed venue in Gauteng.
– African News Agency