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S.Africa needs radical shift to address inequalities: Zuma

By AFP

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - South African President Jacob Zuma wrapped up key policy talks by the ruling ANC Friday calling for radical change to speed up economic transformation and correct past inequalities.

Zuma told delegates at the close of the African National Congress meeting that the "conference has endorsed the need for a radical economic and social transformation programme."

He said that "despite major achievements" since the end of apartheid 18 years ago, "the structural legacy of colonialism of a special type, including patriarchy, remain deeply entrenched.

"This is reflected in the colonial, racist and sexist structure and character of our economy and development."

Zuma said the party's planned changes would mark a second phase of transition from apartheid to a true democratic society.

"This second phase of the transition shall be characterised by more radical policies and decisive action to achieve the change we envisage," he said.

He touched on the emotive area of land reforms, which must "represent a radical... break from the past without significantly disrupting agriculture production and food security.

"It was agreed that we have to ensure a equitable land allocation and use (it) across race, gender and class," said Zuma.

Measures discussed as part of the party's bid to drive economic change included drawing up wage and income policies aimed at promoting growth while addressing poverty and inequality.

The party also looked at possible state ownership of companies, while eyeing the country's lucrative mining sector.

"The state should also capture an equitable share of mineral resource rents and deploy them in the interests of long-term economic growth, development and transformation," said Zuma.