‘’There will never be genuine reconciliation without justice.’’ – Julius Malema
South Africa is facing economic challenges that include the reality of millions who are unable to actively contribute to the growth of the country’s economy. What must happen to ensure that the country’s wealth is equally and justly shared amongst the citizens?
For over four decades, South Africa faced one of the most oppressive regimes in the world – apartheid. This system not only operated on a divide and rule basis and legalised segregation, it also ensured that the oppressed native majority were subjected racial, political and economic inequality.
When the resistance and sanctions towards the apartheid government intensified, the government had no choice but to reluctantly head for the negotiating table with the ANC in order to find a political compromise that would benefit everyone – though not entirely on equal terms.
CODESA – the convention for a democratic South Africa- saw negotiations that paved the way to the country’s first democratic elections and adoption of a new Constitution. The country was able to successfully negotiate a political compromise after the fall of apartheid. Can we not do the same as we continue the struggle for economic freedom in our lifetime?
With the country facing economic problems that include the reality of millions of citizens who are not able to actively and meaningfully participate in the economy, what needs to happen to ensure real economic transformation that would ensure that all citizens equally enjoy the economic fruits of freedom? Would a process similar to CODESA assist us as nation to come to a compromise about transforming our economy for the benefit of all citizens?
In the past two decades of political freedom, there has been progress in democratization of society from a political perspective. Can an economic CODESA provide solutions to the problem of economic inequality which is staring government in the face as the economy remains in semi-colonial apartheid reality?