April 6, 2017 / 10:20 AM / 4 months ago

South Africa's Zuma pledges to transform economy for poor

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FILE PHOTO: South Africa's President Jacob Zuma reacts during the launch of a social housing project in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, April 1, 2017.Rogan Ward/File photo

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African President Jacob Zuma pledged on Thursday to redistribute wealth in the economy to poor black people as part of a policy he calls "radical socio-economic transformtaion".

"We mean the fundamental change in the structure, systems, institutions and patterns of ownership, management and control of the economy in favour of South Africans, especially the poor," Zuma said in a speech to members of local government.

Zuma's fresh "transformation" pledge has been criticised by opponents who say it is a populist attempt to win votes and vague rhetoric similar to many promises made since the end of apartheid in 1994.

Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; Writing by Joe Brock; Editing by James Macharia

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