Ann Bernstein’s article refers (“Costs will stop localisation from spawning industrialisation”, November 16).

This is like trying to explain to a baby why it shouldn’t stick his fingers into an electrical socket, except the baby never learns. It thinks it knows best, and uses outdated and distorted information to justify its position against all good advice.

The end result is not just some academic debate, it is real pain for real people. The department of trade, industry & competition is infested by backwardness, arrogance and antimarket ideology — do they really think they know which products can be manufactured efficiently locally, taking into account advancing technology worldwide? Not just in one industry do they claim to have this knowledge, but in every industry!

Every good argument against the disastrous policy is just dismissed as worthless because, I suppose, they label it a “neoliberal” argument and claim to have a superior understanding of the economy. This is exactly the kind of pretend omniscience and omnipotence that led Soviet Union bureaucrats to think they could set prices and quantities of consumer good supplies using their supposed expertise.

In the end Ebrahim Patel and his department’s entire edifice of hubris will collapse, with the ANC’s governance of SA, just as the Soviet Union did in the end.

Too bad about the decades of lost economic growth, and the entire generation of poor black South Africans who will never know what it feels like not to be poor.

Mani None,Via BusinessLIVE

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