Mbeki's Brother Questions Political Elite
There is something wrong with the way the political elite are managing South Africa, political economist Moeletsi Mbeki said on Thursday.
It was the political elite which determined how the country developed, Mbeki said in his lecture: "What has the ANC achieved in nearly two decades?" at the University of the Witwatersrand.
"There is something very wrong with South Africa... with how the political elite are managing South Africa," he said.
Under the ANC, three social groups had emerged.
They were: the capitalists or bourgeoisie, the political elite or bureaucratic bourgeoisie, and the under-class or unemployed.
"We have a unique political system in South Africa. It's controlled by the black middle class [political elite], but it has an alliance with the poor or the under-class," Mbeki said.
"The under-class are the single largest voting block of South Africa."
He said political power rested between the black political elite and the black poor.
Mbeki said the objective of the political elite was to maximise consumption of the black middle class and to retain the monopoly on political power.
However, its key weakness was that it depended on the vote of the under-class, which did not own productive assets.
"The ANC has been driving a consumer revolution at the expense of production," he said.
South Africa was being de-industrialised.
"We need a new politics in South Africa, a more inclusive politics, not just a black elite and a black poor."
The capitalists needed to be brought into the loop. This group of society was defending itself by moving capital out of South Africa, said Mbeki.
"As long as they [capitalists] are out of the political loop, we'll never have economic growth. They control the productive assets of the country," he said.
"The consumption of black elites is unsustainable and has to be reversed."
Mbeki said the solution for South Africa was to develop entrepreneurs who were productive, and to develop science, maths, engineering and management education.
"Without that, we're going nowhere," said Mbeki.