The government’s dangerously paternalistic streak is showing its worst side during the lockdown and current policymaking.

Disparaging comments recently from trade & industry minister Ebrahim Patel about those modelling the effect of the crisis on the economy were ill judged and clearly showed that the assumptions — and, most importantly, transparency on caveats — of such forecasts had not been studied. The comments were targeted not just at the private sector but also at the National Treasury and SA Reserve Bank-led modelling efforts.

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