Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: SIYASANGA MBAMBANI
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: SIYASANGA MBAMBANI

Radical economic transformation is urgent and must be done now, says Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Addressing a Black Business Council dinner on Wednesday, Ramaphosa said that more than two decades after the advent democracy, the face of poverty remained black and African.

Ramaphosa is up against former AU Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in the race to succeed ANC president Jacob Zuma.

Radical economic transformation and what it entails has become the proxy policy battle between factions in the ANC vying for dominance in the run-up to the party’s elective conference in December 2017.

Ramaphosa delivered a unifying message, saying it was time for South Africans to act in the interests of the country, to end inequality and to promote the ethical management of public resources.

The deputy president admitted that the country’s political landscape was fractious.

"There is no need for us to hide our heads in the sand like an ostrich does," he said.

The country had to be courageous enough to recognise it was facing the "consequences of our own action or inaction", Ramaphosa said.

"We must be brave enough to admit there are such issues."

However, he said, people had to avoid losing hope.

"This country, despite everything which has happened, has not ground to a halt. The wheels have not come off," he said.

He added that state capture would not be allowed.

"We will not allow the capture of our state by anyone ... intent on narrow self-enrichment," Ramaphosa said.

Now was the time for South Africans to reap the economic dividend they had voted for in 1994. Radical economic transformation implied quick and urgent change, he said.

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