Govt's e-tolls, price hikes fuel strikes

Numsa members demonstrate during a march for jobs in Johannesburg. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)
Numsa members demonstrate during a march for jobs in Johannesburg. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)
Labour Q&A with Terry Bell

A Fin24 user, calling himself Unknown, laid the blame for the ongoing strikes squarely at the door of the government, who he says is responsible for price rises. Unknown also offers advice to the government on how it can help ensure people get paid a decent wage.

Unknown writes: "Our government is a bunch of criminals who started all this by putting up e-tolls in Gauteng and increasing the price of petrol, which meant that everything was going up.

"I think this government needs to subsidise companies so that they will be able to pay their employees a decent wage.
"Even with labour brokers our government did this to us. In the old days there wasn't such things and most people were working. And now no one is working, however the prices of everything keeps on escalating."

Terry Bell responds:

The problem, Unknown, is that we are living through a global economic recession. They come and, more and more slowly, they go, leaving massive suffering in their wake.

But the government certainly hitched its economic policy wagon to the apparent star of neo-liberal economics. That this proved to be something of a shooting star and has been an almost unmitigated disaster, seems now to be quite widely recognised.

But what has happened is not necessarily criminal in the legal sense. Ill advised and even stupid, yes. But not criminal. And those working for wages are again going to be the main sufferers. We should perhaps think about doing something about this situation.

*Have a question for Terry? Drop us a line.
- Fin24

* Terry Bell is an independent political, economic and labour analyst. Views expressed are his own. Follow him on twitter @telbelsa.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on Fin24 have been independently written by members of the Fin24 community. The views of users published on Fin24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent those of Fin24.
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