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SA’s unemployment rate is so catastrophic that a state of emergency should be declared. Things are worse than anyone realises. During the state of emergency every employment disincentive should be suspended. The unemployed should be free to be employed or self-employed on whatever terms they wish. A low wage is better than no wage, for the unemployed and for everyone. Most unemployed people receive no welfare in SA. Their levels of privation are too ghastly to contemplate. I visit and work with such communities. I will gladly take armchair advocates of interventionism from their plush homes and offices to see the fate their polices condemn their victims to. They will step with children returning from school over open sewers, walk among piles of rotting garbage, squelch through mind-numbing squalor and meet entire families living in a single tin or cardboard room without toilets, taps or lights. Apart from observing the economic cost of unemployment, they will appreciate its traumati...

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