Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba's advisor Professor Chris Malikane last night reiterated his calls for the nationalisation of the South African Reserve Bank, for full land expropriation into the ownership of the state as well as for the nationalisation of banks and mines.
Malikane is a pivotal figure at the heart of the Treasury and at the nerve-centre of South Africa's economic policy. Gigaba has said the advisor's views are his own, but he is a state employee paid to counsel and advise the minister. Malikane attended the Spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank with Gigaba last week. Throughout his Saturday night address, he referred to the plans in the plural – as belonging to "we", "us" and "our".
We circle the most important things Malikane said at a meeting hosted by Black First Land First but attended by many ANC members. Hundreds of professionals, students, business people and academics came out on the Saturday night of a long weekend to hear Malikane outline his understanding of what government's radical economic transformation programme means.
State bank: Nationalise the SA Reserve Bank
"We call for the establishment of a state bank. The SA Reserve Bank should be nationalised. It is a private company recognised by the Constitution and it prints money, our salaries are printed by the Reserve Bank. And it is privately owned."
Land expropriation without compensation
"We must expropriate all land without compensation. Land must belong to all. Land is not to be expropriated to create, say, a Malikane Empire. Land must be leased to people and taken back if it's not properly used." Later, Malikane added: "..but a tractor (meaning the implements on the land) can be compensated".
"There must be free, quality and decolonised education."
Bell Pottinger did not make white monopoly capital
"White monopoly capital is real. This concept is not a Bell Pottinger creation." The idea of wealth being controlled by white monopoly capital has gained new ground alongside the developing policy of radical economic transformation. Bell Pottinger is a global PR company hired by the Gupta family who are believed to be behind the narrative of white monopoly capital. Later, Malikane said: "To hell with white monopoly, we want state monopoly."
Keeping the natives in place
There are two kinds of black capitalists. "There are those who benefit from white monopoly capital, who sit on boards without changing anything," said Malikane. "They keep the natives in their place and behave like the white capitalist class." The other kind of black capitalists were those who benefited from the tender economy who are squeezed to the margins of the economy. The black working class should ally with this group", said Malikane.
The real state capture
"The black working class must capture state power for itself. This leading social force possesses the ability to disrupt white monopoly capital. The principle enemy of the African working class is white monopoly capital."
There should be a recalibration of ownership among state, private and co-operative ownership. "In the private sector, there needs to be changes in ownership patterns. There needs to be ownership by the democratic government."
We are at a T-junction
"Africans are dispossessed, dominated, super-expolited. The option of going straight is not an option. The country is at a T-junction," said Malikane. Gigaba has said he will implement radical economic transformation but within existing parameters of policy.
Malikane said he welcomed Cosatu's call for the re-nationalisation of Telkom and Arcelor-Mittal (which started life as Iscor, the state-owned steel giant). He said he believes that the major trade unions, the SA Communist Party and the "progressive intelligentsia" could be formed into a broad front to support the programme of radical economic transformation he had outlined.
Malikane is a decorated and radical associate professor at Wits University. He was a long time Cosatu advisor.