Jim Harris has responded today in BusinessDay (The choice is clear) to the opinions expressed by Professor Webster in yesterday’s BusinessDay (see previous post).

He states “Prof Eddie Webster’s long discourse on unemployment takes us “a long road for a short cut” (Why “jobs for all” should be the guiding principle for SA, July 21).   Early on he records the “widespread explanation for our exceptionally high unemployment rate” that our ‘rigid labour market deters hiring’”.

He concludes his short letter as follows: “The ANC and government can’t have their cake and eat it.  Either we have a free market in labour plus full employment at lower wage levels, or we have what now we have — the cause and effect of stringent labour laws and little hiring.   No amount of prevarication and wishful thinking will change this reality”.