South Africa’s Zuma again denounces “monopoly” white economic power

South African President Jacob Zuma reiterated a call on Monday for radical reforms to shift the balance of “monopoly” economic power away from whites who dominated under apartheid, saying without such change blacks would stay poor for a long time.

Chaos erupts during South Africa's President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address

He made the remarks, reiterating a staple criticism leveled by his ruling ANC about South Africa’s economy, against the backdrop of widespread allegations of corruption against Zuma and his friends, the Indian-born Gupta brothers.

Zuma was responding to a question about his role as an enemy of “white capital”, during an interview with the ANN7 news network, which was founded by the Guptas. Zuma and the Guptas have denied any wrongdoing.

“I don’t know why there is a debate in fact. Because there is a monopoly capital and in South Africa it is white … because of our history, it does have a color. It is white,” Zuma, who steps down as head of the ANC in December but can remain head of state until elections due in 2019, said.

“Companies that dominate in the mines, there are not many … You will find the same companies in charge. That means they are monopolizing the economy and they’re not black,” he said.

The Chamber of Mines in the world’s top platinum producer says that in 2016, 39 percent of the sector was owned by “historically disadvantaged South Africans” – meaning non-whites.

Zuma said the policy of “radical economic transformation,” which has also seen moves to change the constitution to allow for the expropriation of land for redistribution to landless blacks, was needed to “correct the past.”

“The ANC must follow this policy because if you don‘t, we are going to stay in poverty, in inequality, for a long time.”

The frontrunners to replace Zuma at the helm of the ANC are Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, a trade unionist who amassed a fortune in the world of business, and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, former chair of the African Union and Zuma’s ex-wife.

Ramaphosa is viewed more favourably by foreign investors, who help cover the country’s deficits. Many of them are unsettled by Dlamini-Zuma’s calls to radically redistribute wealth and her perceived links to her former husband.

In a separate interview on state broadcaster SABC, ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said “state capture is a reality,” referring to allegations that the Guptas and others have undue political influence with access to state resources and contracts under Zuma.

Mantashe is regarded as an ally of Ramaphosa with ties that go back to the 1980s when they were involved in the founding of the National Union of Mineworkers.

Reporting by Ed Stoddard, Editing by William Maclean

Related Content

CNBC Africa turns 13!

On this day 13 years ago, a dream turned to reality. On June the 1st 2007 CNBC Africa was born after many months of preparations, hard work and research. It was destined to become the largest aggregator of business news in Africa, going to 16 million households in 48 countries in Africa. It has interviewed presidents, world leaders, economists, bankers and billionaires. Two men worked tirelessly to launch CNBC Africa entrepreneurs Rakesh Wahi and Zafar Siddiqi and Zafar Siddiqi the Co-Founder and Chairman of ABN Group speaks about the channel he created.

Tsogo Sun Hotels FY profits plunge, COVID-19 lock-downs weigh

Hospitality Group Tsogo Sun Hotels reported a 31 per cent plunge in full year headline earnings per share, with Covid-19 resulting in demand from international tourist retracting in the fourth quarter, due to global lock-downs.

Nampak swings into H1 loss, suffers R3bn impairment

Nampak swung to a half year loss of R2.4 billion as revenue plunged and it impaired its Angola and Nigeria assets by R3 billion, which is four times its market value. The also warned that future profits were in South Africa were at risk from the ban on alcohol sales due to Covid-19 lock-downs. Nampak CEO, Erik Smuts joins CNBC Africa for more.

How COVID-19 impacts the health & well-being of children

Research shows that children have a lower rate of contracting the Coronavirus and bringing infections to the household. This should provide comfort to South African parents that are in two minds about sending their kids back to school next week, when physical teaching is set to resume. Epidemiologist, Dr Boshoff Steenekamp joins CNBC Africa for more.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC AFRICA delivered to your inbox

More from CNBC Africa

COVID-19 lock-down: This is how much SA’s alcohol ban cost the economy

After a two month ban on liquor sales, stores reopened today and thirsty consumers were waiting in line to replenish their stock. While the industry expects liquor sales to spike in the coming days, the ban on sales during the Covid-19 lock-downs has cost over 117,000 jobs. That’s according to the South African Liquor Brand owners Association (SALBA). SALBA CEO, Kurt Moore joins CNBC Africa for more.

Absa May manufacturing index surprises

The rand is rallying. Eight million people are back at work. Petrol will cost one rand and eighteen cents per litre more from next month and the latest Absa Purchasing Managers Index business activity sub-index rebounded to 43.2 in May after collapsing to an all-time low of 5.1 in April. The magnitude of the increase is surprising, given that most parts of the manufacturing sector could only operate at 30 per cent of employment capacity in May due to lockdown. Miyelani Maluleke, Economist at Absa Corporate and Investment Banking joins CNBC Africa for more.

COVID-19: Are Rwanda’s taxi motorbikes equipped for return?

Last night the Rwandan Prime Minister's office announced that the previously slated date of reopening of passenger motorbikes - which was meant to be today - has been extended until further notice. As the country gears up to reallow taxi-motorbikes to start operating again after over 2 months of being out of service due to Covid-19 measures; tech and mobility company, Pascal Technology has been hard at work equipping them to meet new regulatory measures. CNBC Africa spoke to Pascal Ndizeye, CEO and Founder, Pascal Technology to gauge their progress.

Health care group RH Bophelo lists on the Rwanda Stock Exchange

South African multi-million health care company, RH Bophelo today cross-listed on the Rwanda Stock Exchange, making it the 9th company to be listed on the RSE stock market. This comes at a time when another South African company, Cimerwa PPC is also planning the same move. Celestin Rwabukumba, CEO, Rwanda Stock Exchange joins CNBC Africa for more.

Partner Content

Sanlam Emerging Markets and its partners on the African continent invest over $12 million to fight COVID-19

As we go through this global pandemic together, it is the little things we miss. A high five, a handshake, a walk...

VIVO CEO is a dynamic leader for this innovative global brand

May 2020 -- Six months ago the vision for vivo in South Africa was just beginning to...

Trending Now

“Stop this culture of frivolous allegations” former World Bank Treasurer Arunma Oteh defends African Development Bank President

"So my appeal really is that we dispense of this issue. That we stop this culture of frivolous allegations around the times of elections. And allow the African Development Bank to support the African continent at this important time.”

How LGBTQ+ Pride Went From Movement To Marketing

With all of the changes to this year’s Pride lineup, many are left wondering how these virtual events will maintain their support of small LGBTQ+ owned businesses, like restaurants, bars, and brick-and-mortar stores, as well as LGBTQ+ focused nonpr

CNBC Africa celebrates 13 years on air

Today, June 1st marks our 13th Anniversary at CNBC Africa. As we celebrate our work and experiences at a time when the world is subdued by the coronavirus, here are views of some of our top analysts and friends from over the years....

Capital Appreciation’s Bradley Sacks on COVID-19 impact on business

Capital Appreciation, a JSE fintech player raised its final dividend by over 17 per cent following an increase in annual revenue and profits. The payment solutions provider saw increased demand for its digital and cloud based services and said the Covid-19 pandemic has not impacted earnings negatively. Bradley Sacks, Joint CEO at Capital Appreciation joins CNBC Africa for more.
- Advertisement -