The ANC is treading carefully with regards to Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s economic growth plan.
Although the party finally publicly backed parts of the plan, it also announced that there were certain aspects that required further consultation in particular with its alliance partners.
The pronouncement was made by ANC head of economic transformation Enoch Godongwana during a media briefing on Wednesday following a four day meeting held by the party’s highest decision making body, the National Executive Committee (NEC).
Godongwana said “the document [Mboweni’s economic growth plan] has not yet been accepted in its entirety. When we mentioned [during the media briefing] that the ANC considered and agreed on a range of economic policies this includes some of the micro-reforms contained in Mboweni’s economic growth plan.
“I must say that there are some elements in the plan that were not discussed because deliberation on those matters belongs elsewhere. You will see [in the document containing the resolutions of the NEC meeting] that we did not discuss or make reference to the legal market reforms or the labour market forms contained in Mboweni’s economic growth plan because we have agreed with unions and other stakeholders that these matters would be better dealt with at a different level.”
“Engagement on these matters would be better where the expertise to engage on these issues is available – for instance the labour market reforms were discussed in the jobs summit at which the ANC was not party to. It doesn’t mean they have been completely dropped,” said Godongwana.
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule also reiterated that the ANC has agreed on a package of economic interventions to help grow the struggling economy and create jobs.
Adding that many of the suggested solutions were already contained in existing policies including the National Development Plan, the party said it would focus on the implementation thereof.
Maashule said chief among the resolutions reached by the ruling party was that it needed to start implementing promises made in its 2019 manifesto and its 54th elective conference.
“We had a really good four days where people were open and were very frank, engaging, it was wonderful. I think the media must capture that mood of positivity so that we make sure society in South Africa has the positive mood to rebuild,” Magashule said.
He went on to say that even though the ruling party had held positive discussions it was still incumbent upon the party to engage its alliance partners – in particular Cosatu and the SACP – who have openly rejected the economic growth plan.
“We said where there are still issues to be addressed and flagged we have actually made sure that we will come back and address those issues. The party will host a session with its alliance partners and iron out the remaining disagreements. Areas of disagreement are not much so I am sure we will see eye to eye soon,” said Magashule.
“The NEC confirmed that the overarching objective of economic policy remains to build an inclusive economy by stimulating investment, growth and job creation and thereby decisively tackling poverty and inequality, raising living standards and improving the well-being of all South Africans,” Magashule said.