Carol Paton Editor at large

University of Cape Town (UCT) professor Nicoli Nattrass is free to write what she likes; everybody else is free to say she is racist. Yes, it is more complicated than that, though not a whole lot more.

Nattrass is a serious scholar. Her work on labour markets, employment and poverty is empirically rich, scholarly and well-argued. Her conclusions are not what those in the labour movement, government or the left in general want to hear. In her most recent book she argues for a differentiated or dual labour market as a pro-poor, pro-employment strategy, where regulation — such as minimum wages — in some sectors or areas is relaxed to enable labour-intensive industry to thrive. This is “inclusive dualism”, where the trade-offs between employment and wages are made explicit and weighed up, which is not often done by SA’s policymakers...

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