ANTI-apartheid activist and academic Mamphela Ramphele on Thursday called for citizen participation in various spheres of South African development, to bring about state accountability and a dynamic economy.

Addressing business leaders in Johannesburg Dr Ramphele said there was still considerable inequality in South Africa, despite measures put in place to address this.

"Even though we had the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, we did not deal with the impact that racism had on the socioeconomic front," she said.

She said sentiments of guilt and inferiority from racial groups needed to be set aside in order for the country to develop economically.

"We need to grow up and see that although history has bequeathed us challenges, in those challenges lie opportunities," she said.

Dr Ramphele also mentioned that policies, such as black economic empowerment (BEE), were "unhelpful" when implemented incorrectly.

"Another form of patronage that creates disconnect is BEE because not every black person has access. Only those that are well connected benefit," she said.

Dr Ramphele initiated the Citizen Movement for Social Change, which is aimed at mobilising South Africans to bring about positive change within society and the country's economy.

"The movement itself won't fight corruption but will mobilise you to fight corruption," she said.

Dr Ramphele reiterated the significance of education, saying it was "a sure and tested way out of poverty".

She urged South Africans to "learn the lessons of history", saying "bullies and despots only listen to a bold voice" that would set boundaries and "draw the line in the sand".