During the national liberation struggle the African National Congress’s strategic objective was the transfer of state power into the hands of the democratic majority. The phrase ‘radical economic transformation (RET) has entered South Africa’s daily lexicon in 2017 with medias, academics and even using the concept for new measures used by the African National Congress to uplift the poor of the poors in South Africa. But what is RET from agricultural perspective? Does it mean taking from the haves and giving it to the have nots Mugabe style, or is it simply a synonym for inclusive growth?
According to Van Zyl (2017), Radical economic transformation means an economy in which: 1. Goods and property cannot be confiscated for political purposes and citizens are secure in the knowledge that their property is safe. 2. Taxes are low and are not used to fund massive bureaucracies. Citizens are allowed to keep the more of the money they earn. 3. Buyers and sellers trading freely in an open market without Government interference determine the prices of goods and services. Arbitrarily high prices are avoided. 4. Professional development is simple and reasonable without paternal government supervision. ‘Licenses’ and ‘clearance certificates’ would no longer be required for people to do something they are perfectly capable of doing without state interference. 5. Purchasing smallholdings becomes the same as any other property transaction with no need to ask for ‘permission’ from government to subdivide agricultural land. 6. Starting businesses is easy removing the need to submit complex forms and documents mandated by financial services regulations or have to adhere to arbitrary zoning bylaws. 7. Corruption is substantially reduced. Less political involvement in the economy would reduce the possibility of cronyism and unethical ‘tenderpreneurship’.