Johannesburg - Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies has dismissed suggestions of a change to South Africa's industrial and labour policy to spur economic growth, the Mail and Guardian reported.
South Africa could not compete with the "sweatshops of the world", Davies was quoted as saying on Sunday.
He was speaking at a business breakfast organised by the African National Congress's Progressive Business Forum in Bloemfontein.
"If you're talking about lower wages and relaxed labour laws, South Africa simply can't do that," said Davies.
Davies said the country's organised labour movement would prevent the move.
"As we have seen in the past year, that is the reality of Marikana, that is the De Doorns of this world. We simply don't want to head in that direction."
According to speaking notes provided by his office, Davies said the trade and competition policies in the country were aligned with industrial policy objectives.
"Tariff setting is more sophisticated, informed by strategic sectoral priorities. Tariff increases, rebates and reductions are now routinely and transparently processed by the International Trade Administration Commission."
Davies said a range of competition investigations were conducted to root out anti-competitive behaviour in sectors of the economy, particularly manufacturing and agriculture.
He said efforts were underway to tackle customs fraud, illegal imports and the import of substandard goods.
The ANC's national conference started in Mangaung on Sunday.
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