Nationalisation expunged from ANC lexicon

[] – THE word “nationalisation’ is no longer part of the ANC’s vocabulary, Public Enterprises Minister and member of the ANC’s commission on economic transformation Malusi Gigaba said today. Yet it may very well emerge in another shape.

Briefing journalists on the decisions taken by the ANC’s commission on economic transformation during the ANC’s 53rd national conference in Mangaung, Gigaba said the ruling party was “eager’ to provide clarity on the issue.

“The national conference has refused to be drawn into the word nationalisation or not,’ Gigaba said. “The issue of nationalisation is off the table, but the NEC (national executive committee) reaffirms its position that there should be strategic ownership where deemed necessary, based on the balance of evidence.’

Gigaba therefore did not rule out that there “may come a time’ when a particular economic sector could be nationalised for particular purposes. “It happened in the United States, the United Kingdom and elsewhere in the world with the global financial crisis,’ he said.

In 2010, the ANC Youth League adopted nationalisation as official policy at its national elective conference in Midrand, but it remained a pipe dream, despite its former leader Julius Malema’s insistence that it was “a concluded matter and that the ruling party is studying the best model for it’.

At the ANC’s national general council in September 2010, the party took a resolution to investigate the feasibility of nationalisation, but the idea was officially scrapped and deemed to be unaffordable at the ruling party’s policy conference in June this year.

President Jacob Zuma has repeatedly gone to great lengths to assure investors that nationalisation was not government policy.

Mining chamber CEO, Bheki Sibiya, earlier said the fact that the ANC seemed to have toyed with the idea of nationalisation cost South Africa “billions of rand which could have been invested and created jobs.

“That dreaded “n-word’ – many investors held back ahead of Mangaung and for that reason we as a country are poorer,’ he said.