Nkoana-Mashabane backs Zuma's new push
PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma seems to have found an ally in his push to convince sceptical delegates to accept the "Second Transition" discussion document at the ANC's national policy conference, which begins in Midrand today.
In her keynote address to dignitaries at the Brics Colloquium organised by the ANC's Progressive Business Forum, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane supported the Second Transition thesis.
"The economic benefits of Brics membership to South Africa will be best realised as the country enters the Second Transition," the minister said.
The controversial discussion document has been rejected by several ANC provinces, the majority of whom have argued against the separation of political emancipation from economic transformation.
So far, Gauteng, Limpopo, North West and Eastern Cape have rejected the document, which calls for economic transformation in SA in the next 30 to 50 years.
Nkoana-Mashabane also sought to dismiss suggestions by Zuma's critics that under his leadership of the country, the African agenda had taken a back-seat.
Expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema found himself in trouble with ANC disciplinarians last year when he compared former president Thabo Mbeki's active promotion of Africa against what the league saw as Zuma's disinterest in the continent.
However, Nkoana-Mashabane yesterday implied that Zuma understood the importance of the continent to South Africa's future plans.
She said South Africa's foreign policy was firmly rooted in the development of the continent, highlighting that Zuma had since been appointed chair of the African Union's infrastructure build committee.
Nkoana-Mashabane added that South Africa would continue to play an active role in the New Partnership for Africa's Development.