Draft ANC economic policy document addresses issues of skills development, small businesses

The African National Congress (ANC) has defended its latest draft economic policy document. The document which is yet to be discussed proposes changes in Skills Development, Small business, and digital transformation.

The document also proposes modernising the country’s Post Office, making it more digital-friendly and even transforming it in some places into an internet café.

ANC communications sub-committee member Dakota Legoete says the ANC is currently tabling its discussion policy documents under severe economic constraints.

He further elaborates, “We are having a challenge of floods, slow economic growth and I think this is the context that you will have to understand that as the governing party, we have the burden of leadership and responsibility to ensure that we deal with all of these challenges. We are at a stage where we are dealing with intermediate electricity supply which has a negative impact on the economy.”

ANC engages stakeholders

Before its policy conference at the end of July, the ANC has begun to engage stakeholders on its Economic Transformation and Battle of Ideas policy papers. It intends to solicit feedback from a cross-section of society on its policy ideas in order to shape and direct them.

It claims that its policy positions are derived from the Freedom Charter, which states that all citizens should share in the country’s wealth. According to the ANC, energy security is a top priority, as are the traditional scourges of unemployment, poverty, and inequality as SABC News’ Nompumelelo Siziba reports:

Although industry experts have deemed the ANC’s proposed policies as weak, Legoete says their draft policies have been tailor-made to address recent economic challenges emanating from pandemics, natural disasters and the Russia/ Ukraine war. He highlights the KwaZulu-Natal floods as an example of new proposals made to mitigate such disasters.

Legoete believes that through the building regulations, town planning schemes and regional planning schemes, they will look at the requirements to precaution the foundation for a house.  The new re-enforcements are to be compatible with some of the challenges and floods experienced in KZN. Through the institutions of research and science collaboration, the ANC believes will be in a position that can mitigate the challenges posed by climate change.

ANC head of economic transformation, Mmamoloko Kubayi, says this policy document is different from the previous one.

“It is not true to say that the document we have today is not different from the previous policies. These policies look to find terms of re-emphasising areas that we think we are lacking in. Social compacting was not there in the last policy document as explicit as it is now. We are saying this is not final, and we are issuing these documents as the ANC to ask if we are on the right track in terms of the ANC policy.”

The ANC says it has made proposals and continued assessments of the broadcasting policies. As part of making means to improving the postal services, new modern facilities and amenities like the internet café and other related services are some of the new services that the ANC would like the Post Office to consider as part of improving and modernising society.

It further proposes that the post office should be transformed and modernised. To accord with the demands of modern society, it also wants WiFi to be made cheaper for citizens.

The ANC has also made new proposals for skills development and small businesses. The policy document proposes the development of a national strategy for macro enterprise which will include the development of a Micro-Finance Act.

The proposed policies will become a manifesto that will contribute to the ANC manifesto for the 2024 elections.

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