Experience has taught me that when you’re under attack it’s best to stand still. Most critics of columns are either just plain wrong or have something else to say and wrap that up as a critique of you, or they are just doing what they’re told.

Certainly the last applies to both Bernie Fanaroff and Lael Bethlehem, who were both afforded generous opportunities by Business Day to reply to a column I wrote suggesting trade, industry & competition minister Ebrahim Patel is doing damage to the downstream steel fabricating industry by protecting SA’s one large (and largely obsolete) primary steel producer, Arcelor Mittal SA (Amsa), with relentless duties on imported steel (“Essential for SA to retain primary steel industry (https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/2021-02-15-essential-for-sa-to-retain-primary-steel-industry/)”, February 15, and “Tariffs alone can never secure the long term health of an industry (https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/2021-02-18-tariffs-alone-can-...

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