The ANC says it is deeply concerned about the remarks of former finance minister Trevor Manuel, who said the ANC regime since 1994 had been “almost three decades wasted”.
Manuel said this at a webinar on Thursday.
Manuel said in the interview, which dealt with whether a socialist market economy can work in South Africa: “The big challenge we face in South Africa is what we are doing now, with almost three decades wasted.”
However, Manuel, now chairman of Old Mutual, also said that there was significant economic growth between 2000 and 2007 during the term of former president Thabo Mbeki.
The ANC said in a statement on Monday that although it respected Manuel’s right to freedom of speech, there was no reason to “condemn the country, the media and the outside world”.
The party says it is “painfully aware” of the ongoing attacks on it that are being conducted “in a desperate manner on various social media platforms” and warns Manuel not to fall into “this trap”.
The ANC further points out in its statement that the quality of life of South Africans has improved “tremendously” since 1994. Progress has been made with access to clean drinking water, housing, education, social grants and health care.