Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant. Picture: GCIS
Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant. Picture: GCIS

IT’S amazing how the government and its trade union leeches always feel so good after administering a bureaucratic punch against market forces. It’s a known fact that over time minimum wages destroy jobs.

A survey five years from now will highlight a fall in farm employment. This will be "balanced" by an increase in unemployment.

If low-skilled jobs are "killed off" due to high (minimum) price levels, how is South Africa’s large pool of unskilled labour going to find jobs?

Strange this never seems to bother trade union bosses. There is a minimum wage and you cannot employ anyone for less. So no employment occurs.

The government cannot miraculously create skilled labour. What would happen to employment levels if we removed all these labour restrictions and simply let buyers and sellers of labour negotiate their own terms? Sure, wages will be low, but earning something is better than zero. The opportunity is there to improve your skill.

We must never forget the flip side of the coin — low costs lead to increased demand. All those "visionaries" who think they are doing unskilled labour a favour by supporting minimum wages, think again.

Howard Skeens