ANC government 'inherited an economy in crisis' in '94 - Ramaphosa
In order to have a better South Africa, it is required that the mistakes of the last few years, including that of the Jacob Zuma administration be corrected, according to ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa started a three-day campaign trail in Kwazulu-Natal on Friday with an exclusive fundraising gala dinner at the Coastlands Hotel in Umhlanga.
The province was once deemed a no-go area for Ramaphosa ahead of the ANC's Nasrec elective conference, where former president Zuma still enjoys massive support.
In delivering his keynote address at the dinner, Ramaphosa reiterated that there was a need to restore policy certainty and consistency, rooting out corruption in state-owned enterprises, strengthening law enforcement agencies and affirming the rule of law.
"We have set ourselves the target of being in the top 50 countries in the world for ease of doing business within 3 years," he said.
Ramaphosa wants to remove "unnecessary regulatory impediments to investment, and have a reformed immigration regime to encourage an inflow of skills and tourists, significantly reduce crime and corruption, and develop ports, railways and roads".
"We will address monopolies, excessive economic concentration and the growth-inhibiting structure of the economy," said Ramaphosa.
The ANC president said that there was a need for government to support small businesses, and that would, in turn, mean a growing GDP.
"We will do this through a more effective competition policy and will open up the economy to participation by small and medium enterprises, emerging co-operatives, and township and village enterprises".
He said that the ANC government in 1994 "inherited an economy in crisis", saying it was an economy designed to serve the interests of the few, and to consign the black majority to poverty, marginalisation and mass unemployment.
"The state was crippled by massive debt and large deficits, jobs were scarce and growth was on the decline. There is broad agreement among all South Africans that our most pressing and immediate task is the creation of employment on a far greater scale than we have achieved to date."
Ramaphosa has assured that his government will mobilise funding from public and private sources for more roads, schools, health facilities, water and sanitation infrastructure, transport networks, broadband and energy generation and distribution capacity.
The president will conclude his visit to the province on Sunday.