Unlike the situation in developed economies such as the UK, SA's wealth gap is defined by income disparities between the employed and the unemployed. While salary discrepancies between top executives and their entry-level counterparts will certainly have some effect on inequality in our country, there is no doubt that this is outweighed by the effect of the gap between those who have an income and those who don't.
To address income inequality, the government should thus be looking towards credible solutions for unemployment rather than enforcing wage caps on top-earning executives.
This week, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel indicated his department was looking at the continuing debate on capping executive pay and is "open to hearing the views of the business and other parts of society".
But wage caps will not address the root cause of inequality in SA, which stems largely from the fact that about 6,7-million South Africans are unemployed. If we are looking to address income inequalities, our objective should be to address unemployment.
The first step should be to revise our draconian labour regulations.
Haniff Hoosen MP
DA spokesman on economic development