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Zuma vows to build better S. Africa through radical socioeconomic transformation
Last Updated: 2017-09-25 01:29 | Xinhua
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President Jacob Zuma vowed on Sunday to build a better South Africa for all through radical socioeconomic transformation.

Such transformation will ensure that the ownership, control and management of the economy is de-racialized and is not in the hands of white compatriots only, Zuma said in a message marking Heritage Day.

The president joined a crowd in Siyabuswa, Mpumalanga Province to celebrate Heritage Day, which is dedicated to the rich cultural diversity in South Africa.

Zuma took advantage of Heritage Day to highlight radical socioeconomic transformation amid growing complaints among blacks that much needs to be done to empower the black majority economically.

On the other hand, some whites label radical socioeconomic transformation as an excuse by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to raid the state coffers.

Radical socioeconomic transformation is defined as the fundamental change in the structure, systems, institutions and patterns of ownership and control of the economy.

Blacks blame the current economic structure for the high rates of unemployment (which hovers around 27 percent), high poverty and severe inequality.

Some aspects of the radical socioeconomic transformation are being implemented already through various program such as that of developing black industrialists, said Zuma.

There are also projects aimed at opening up space for black people to participate in the manufacturing, mining, tourism, agriculture, oceans economy, water, energy and other sectors as owners and managers, according to Zuma.

"There is still a long way to go," Zuma acknowledged.

Radical socioeconomic transformation requires unity of purpose and action by the government and the private sector to ensure success in building a sustainable economy that caters for the needs of all and not just a few, Zuma said.

"We trust that the private sector will continue working with us in support of this project," said Zuma.

The president paid tribute to the achievements that have been made since the end of apartheid in 1994.

The dismantling of the legal framework of apartheid and the transformation of many state institutions has led to the visible improvement of the socioeconomic conditions of millions of people, Zuma said.

Every day work is done to ensure that more people get access to water, electricity, housing, education, health and other basic services, he said.

"Every day work is done to improve the investment climate in the country so that we can get much-needed investments by local and foreign investors to help our people get jobs," said Zuma.

Apartheid was a corrupt and violent system of governance which kept South Africans in subjugation, he said.

"Let us unite against corruption and crime in our communities and in our country. These scourges should not divide us at all," Zuma stressed.

He called for national unity of purpose and action regardless of political affiliation.

"Let us not be complacent in our victories over racial domination and repression.

"As a united, sovereign, democratic state, let us strengthen our efforts building a nation free from poverty, hunger, homelessness and inequality," Zuma concluded.

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