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Labour Wrap: The real reasons for our specific crisis

Mar 17 2016 07:56
Terry Bell

BAD political leadership, corruption, the looting of state assets and apparent manipulation of judicial processes are seen as the prime reasons for the specific economic problems facing South Africa, says Terry Bell in his latest Labour Wrap. 

Although he agrees with this assessment, he points out that it has been made by commentators and investment specialists both here and abroad.  

He notes that this is also no new development; it is a view that has been gaining currency for some time. However, it has become more prominent since the “revolving door debacle” of South Africa having three finance minister in one week.

Bell maintains that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s recent investment roadshow was a case in point and should put paid to the mantra that unions and labour laws are to blame for our woes. He notes that the names usually raised in terms of problems in the country are not those of trade unions, but those of Zuma and Gupta.

He also points out that the presence of representatives of the three major labour federations on the roadshow does not indicate that the unions have softened their opposition to the National Development Plan supported by Gordhan and the government. They joined the roadshow because they feel that further withdrawal of investment and South Africa's credit rating being labelled junk would harm not only workers and the poor, but also existing business.

Invesors, says Bell, cannot simply put mines or a factories into their back pockets and leave. As a result, the unions want to buy time to try to set matters straight; they do not want to see everyone “dragged over the precipice” together.

* Add your voice to the big labour debate.

- Follow Terry on twitter @telbelsa.

terry bell  |  opinion  |  labour  |  labour wrap
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