Business Day’s normally high standards of reporting have slipped in two recent articles, which referred to the work or comments of the minister of economic development. Once, okay, we understand the pressure of deadlines; twice in less than a week – ouch!
The first was an article published on Minister Ebrahim Patel’s comments on the fuel price increase which referred to an alleged statement that "there is nothing much government can do to stem the rampant fuel increases". The article used as its source the answer to a parliamentary question, which, however, makes no such claim. We ignored it when it appeared, but it seems, like all good urban legends, to have grown feet and is now repeated in the absence of a rebuttal.
The second was a speculative piece on the Competition Amendment Bill, which claims new powers for the minister of economic development in dealing with mergers with national security implications. The bill has not been released by Parliament. Once it is released, it will become clear that the speculation is misplaced.
Dr Molefe Pule
Chief of staff: Ministry of Economic Development