Delegates said the ANC’s attitude to monopoly capital applies across the board, irrespective of the colour of the owners of such capital, including institutional and other entities.
In one of the most publicised debates at the ANC Policy Conference delegates broadly endorsed the description of the ANC’s approach towards monopoly capital as one of “unity and struggle, cooperation and contestation.”
This needs to be further discussed by the branches ahead of the 54th National Conference in December, and contrasts with the view of some formations that white monopoly capital should be declared the strategic enemy. This debate has been muddied by the use of the term ‘white monopoly capital’ by various individuals and groups to respond to allegations of state capture.
Despite this and efforts by some commentators to link the debate to the leadership contest in December, the discussions were constructive in the main.
Delegates felt that the 2007 formulations need to be further tightened, taking into account the growth and dominance of multinational corporations that are monopolistic, often with control and ownership over the entire value chain in their sector.
The Conference noted that many sectors of the South African economy are dominated by monopolies, but cautioned that we should not conflate the concept of monopoly capital with the inescapable reality of white dominance in the economy in terms of assets, income, management and the professions.
Monopoly capital in South Africa historically and even today is overwhelmingly white and male, due to deliberate policies of colonialism, apartheid and patriarchy, and their legacies. Delegates said the ANC’s attitude to monopoly capital applies across the board, irrespective of the colour of the owners of such capital, including institutional and other entities.
The Policy Conference said the ANC should elaborate on interventions to build an economy with high levels of competition and to discipline monopolies. This should include the strengthening of competition authorities, regulation, effective industrial policy that facilitates and promotes new entrants, and interventions in value chains and state procurement.