I am pleased to see Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies endorsing a solid capitalist outlook on the African continental free-trade area. However, it must be understood that the labour regulatory authorities in most African countries are a lot more accommodating to manufacturers than SA.
Furthermore, the minimum wage environment in SA is far higher than the rest of Africa. These two factors could mean that SA will be flooded with cheaper goods and job-seeking individuals who have greater skills. The agreement would mean cheaper goods for South Africans, but fewer jobs. Hopefully this means our trade unions will, for once, take a careful look at how we can compete in the wider African market. That being said, Africa does need to do business with itself to enable more rapid growth on the continent.
DA labour spokesperson