Peter Bruce’s recent column was a comprehensive attack on SA’s industrial policy (“Steel yourself for Ebrahim Patel’s price controls, a loser’s game (”, February 10). Guns blazing, he aimed his sights on trade, industry and competition minister Ebrahim Patel, predicting a raft of price controls, job losses and general mayhem. The reader is entitled to ask for the evidence of Bruce’s damning conclusions. Price controls? Has anyone suggested this in serious policy circles, or is he just imagining what might happen next?

Bruce suggests Patel is unable to see beyond the interests of a small number of firms, and that he supports their pleas naively. Such heavy and high-pitched allegations should not be made without evidence. Bruce is contemptuous of the development of industry master plans. But did he talk to the companies involved in the cloth...

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