I’m all right, Jekwa

Finweek English Edition - - Letters - WERNER ERNST

I’M SO GLAD Sizwekazi Jekwa re­mem­bers some­thing from her (no doubt ex­pen­sive) univer­sity train­ing: that is, un­der­stand­ing the mar­ket mech­a­nism of sup­ply and de­mand. First, be­cause she ad­mits that the gov­ern­ment of the Eight­ies, which she ap­par­ently dis­likes so much, gave her the chance to study and, sec­ond, be­cause she doesn’t share the Com­mu­nist views of the ANC in the Eight­ies.

Af­ter all, the Com­mu­nist views of those years were one of the rea­sons why the gov­ern­ment re­strained the ANC ter­ror­ists in their ef­forts to kill many peo­ple and in that way in­tro­duce a Com­mu­nist dic­ta­tor­ship through fear. The gov­ern­ment there­fore also pro­tected Jekwa.

Un­for­tu­nately, Jekwa doesn’t un­der­stand the mar­ket mech­a­nism of sup­ply and de­mand very well. If the de­mand for a per­son’s skills is cre­ated ar­ti­fi­cially by the State’s in­ter­ven­tion, the mar­ket isn’t a free mar­ket at all and the long-term re­sults are poor.

For ex­am­ple, the cur­rent in­ter­ven­tion of race quo­tas in the work­place does mean that more blacks are en­ter­ing the pro­fes­sions; but it also re­sults in fewer lo­cal whites en­ter­ing the same pro­fes­sions, or any pro­fes­sions in SA. The over­all re­sult is that the pool of pro­fes­sional peo­ple doesn’t grow as much as is re­quired by sup­ply and de­mand.

The sup­ply is smaller, be­cause the price is higher. Per­haps Jekwa’s sup­port of black favouritism is sim­ply based on per­sonal ben­e­fit?

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