Johann Rupert: SA’s Richest Man Weighs In On Zuma’s RET Policy


In recent time, the South African government has been working around the clock to prioritize its woolly slogan “Radical Economic Transformation” – a vague ANC plan to tackle racial inequality.

According to President Zuma, who described the slogan as the “gospel truth”, South Africans need to stand up and embrace the RET policies so as to achieve and enjoy the benefits of the ANC leadership.

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While many people are still trying to come to terms with the maxim, others, especially political and economic analysts have written off the woolly slogan, describing it as another ploy by the ANC to loot state resources.

Weighing on RET on Wednesday, South Africa’s richest man, Johann Rupert, said President Zuma’s RET policy which he is championing to reduce racial inequality is no more than theft.

Rupert, who was speaking on the sidelines of Richemont’s annual general meeting in Geneva, alleged that the RET policy is just a code word employed by the president to steal from the state.

Despite the fact that many people are not in support of RET, President Zuma has always maintained that the policy seeks to address the needs and wishes of the working poor, the unemployed, the under-employed and the unemployable; the young; the sick; the homeless and the slum dwellers; the hungry and those who hunger for quality education.

The president is not the only one who has backed the controversial policy. Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and ANC presidential hopefuls – Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa – have also spoken about it.

ANC’s Plan on Radical Economic Transformation

According to an ANC’s policy discussion document, the government plans to realize economic transformation in the country with these strategies:

  • Re-industrialising South Africa’s economy
  • Emphasis on black ownership (of land and the economy)
  • State in the driving seat of development.
  • Building a professional public service that “serves government correctly”.
  • Dismantling monopoly structures and practices.
  • Policy continuity over policy change.

While the ANC has launched processes into bringing the policy to bear, Ratings firm, Moody’s has warned that government’s plan to implement RET could turn away investors.

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The firm further warned that plans for land redistribution, preferential procurement, and other forms of affirmative actions could also discourage investors from making significant impacts in the country.