ON THE WATER
NEELS BLOM: Free markets under threat in the name and shame game
The Cash Paymaster Services arrangement sullies a supposedly free market with a Stalinist obsession with control
It has not been a great week for business and, obviously, the thing to do is to cast about for someone or something to blame, preferably a human so that the injured parties may relish their shame. Perhaps, this will make us all feel a little better after the social grants payment circus. Somehow, though, we know that blaming Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini will not be fully gratifying. The Constitutional Court may have been unequivocal in its pronouncement about her competence and mandate, but we know that in a gangster state, a lieutenant does not pull off the kind of scam we think this lieutenant has done without cutting in the boss. More likely, we might think, the lieutenant acted on instructions. What we don’t know is what the percentages are and who exactly the boss is.What we must ask is, does it matter? As with most scandals in SA, this one will also blow over. Grant recipients will have received their lifeline from the state and the business of being poor will...