How to ensure more South Africans celebrate Workers’ Day as workers
We need to move away from the apartheid-style, top-down shaping of the labour market
During apartheid, labour was heavily regulated, with workers and employers having to defer to the whim of government in how they conducted their relationships. It is appropriate, then, that South Africans celebrate Freedom Day and Workers’ Day in such proximity to one another – both having to represent our departure from Apartheid (economic) thinking. The transition to democracy should have resulted in substantive economic freedom for all South Africans, especially the working class. However, it seems we have chosen to perpetuate the arbitrariness of the previous regime. Section 22 of the Constitution guarantees everyone’s right to freely choose their profession, meaning workers and employers should be free to engage in whatever work they desire, on whatever terms they agree. This is, after all, the very definition of economic freedom. Most importantly, the job market should be as easily accessible as possible, without government erecting arbitrary barriers and perpetually increasin...
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