Few economists predicted a better 2020 (SA economy off to a shaky start in 2020, January 10). The unemployment figures have been increasing every quarter for the past decade. The only thing the government has been able to do is to have workshops, commissions of inquiry, discussions and summits. Nothing has resulted from any of this.

It should be noted that many mainstream economists do try to be positive, to give an upbeat message so as to boost the institutions they represent. Despite this, the messages we saw at the end of 2019 already looked bleak.

One or two of the economists started to speak truth to power. I applaud Magnus Heystek, for example, for his excellent article way back in October 2019. Unfortunately for all of us, many of his predictions have come to pass.

The DA has been urging the labour portfolio committee in parliament to reconsider some of the onerous and unworkable labour regulations and laws. Despite outlining simple changes to the labour regulations that would help small businesses take up further employees, the ANC-controlled committee has been resolute in keeping it “business as usual”.

The international community, including the ratings agencies, have been warning us about this downward trend, to no avail. It is now up to the public to speak when they go to the polls in 2021.

Michael Bagraim, MP
Deputy shadow employment and labour minister

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