Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa
Do not allow revolutionary sounding slogans to hoodwink the public, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said.
Speaking at a Black Business Council event in Sandton, Johannesburg on Wednesday evening, Ramaphosa said some were attempting to appropriate the democratic movement, along with its history, symbols and policies in pursuit of factional interests.
"We have now become a country of many slogans where everyone wakes up and comes up with a slogan," said the deputy president.
His views echo sentiments expressed by the South African Communist Party (SACP) on calls for radical economic transformation.
Recently, the calls have largely been made by the African National Congress's (ANC's) Youth League and its Women's League in the lead-up to a controversial Cabinet shakeup by President Jacob Zuma, which saw the axing of Pravin Gordhan as finance minister.
The SACP, following its central committee meeting in February, said the calls were nothing but rhetoric to further enrich the elite.
The deputy president, who had been vocal in calls to fight against corruption, told black business leaders that they would never compromise on the fight against "corruption, patronage and rent seeking".
"We will also not allow the institutions of our state to be captured by anyone, be they individuals, be they families that are intent on narrow self-enrichment," Ramaphosa said.
The deputy president admitted that government continued to disappoint members of the black business community by continuing to do business with "the usual suspects", referring to white-owned and big businesses.
"It is not correct that our black professionals, be [they] lawyers, be they accountants, be they asset managers, be they engineers, should languish in inactivity," he said.
Ramaphosa said government would move to correct the error of overlooking black business and create systems to monitor the development to ensure it is actually being addressed.
The deputy president called on the different sectors to put the needs of South Africans first, especially those who are marginalised in the country.
"Whenever you go through the length and breadth of our country...you see a long face, you will see the long face of an African woman because she's black, because she's poor," he said.
Ramaphosa said black women had not benefitted from the economic opportunities which South Africa fought for.
He said they were part of the many who experienced social marginalisation and economic exclusion.