Recent revelations by the Statistician-General Pali Lehohla on poverty and economic growth trends clearly show that indeed there is still validity in calling for total economic transformation in South Africa.
Lehohla’s assertion that more than 30 million South Africans live in poverty should make us stand up and do more to address the poverty and social inequality time bomb in our midst.
As expected, the report reveals that black Africans are still the most vulnerable group to poverty and unemployment.
Consequently, such statistics call for enhancing the effectiveness of progressive policies such as broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE), industry charters, affirmative action and gender equity, to mention but a few.
Despite populist rhetoric in some quarters, we still urgently need to address the historical injustices and discriminatory realities of our recent past.
Also, the stubborn legacy of white monopoly capital tells us that despite the best will in the world, unless drastic changes take place, it makes no sense to expect that government alone can meaningfully change the patterns of socioeconomic inequality without enabling black people to take a lead in the running of the economy.