Why Low Wages are Better than No Wages

Representatives of organised labour and their political allies often accuse advocates of a more flexible labour market regime of proposing nothing less than the return of slave labour.
This is emotionally powerful rhetoric. But it is factually wrong. It is also damaging to the prospects of tackling head-on our enormous unemployment problem.

Those who argue that only high-wage jobs can be legitimately created and that those who manage to find a job must be protected by rigid labour laws are calculating that 7.5million unemployed is an acceptable price to pay.

What they are ignoring is that a job – even a low-paid one – means entry into the modern economy, which includes, among other things, the possibilities of trade union membership and enjoyment of basic employment protection.

If low-wage employment is the equivalent of slavery, then the worst offenders in the country are those employers who seldom employ people for more than three months at a time, pay R79 a day – or about R1700 a month – and who are very proud of this achievement.

Who would do such a thing? The surprising answer is: the government. Welcome to the Expanded Public Works Programme.

The EPWP is the driver of the ANC’s promise to create six million “work opportunities”. This promise was a centrepiece of the ANC’s 2014 election manifesto, the basis of the party’s comfortable victory. Ever since, the government has been proud to celebrate the success of what is, in truth, a band aid for unemployment.

If this is “slave labour”, it is surprisingly popular.

The strongest reason to dismiss the arguments of the anti-reform ideologues is that whatever the pros and cons of a more flexible labour market, the fact is that unemployment is worse. This is so obvious it’s actually quite surprising that the argument needs to be made at all.

Unlike those in employment, the unemployed lack an organised voice. However, when given the option, the unemployed make themselves available for EPWP-style work in numbers that overwhelm the programme’s capacity to absorb them. This simply wouldn’t happen if workers didn’t prefer low wages to no wages.

For the unemployed, then, it seems clear that reforms aimed at permitting firms to employ people at wages below currently prescribed minimum levels would be welcome.

It is the size and desperation of what Karl Marx called the “reserve army of labour” that holds down wage growth in South Africa.

Indeed, there is really no need to protect work-seekers from the threat of low-wage jobs: if they don’t want those jobs, they needn’t apply for them.

Those who resist labour market reform also argue that change would hurt existing workers. Their argument is that by weakening labour market protection, reformists would be rolling back the gains made by workers over decades of struggle.

This appeal to the fears of employed workers is also emotionally resonant, but we should be clear on its consequences. What it really means is that the gains made by those who have jobs should be protected even at the expense of the unemployed, who are excluded from them, because worker rights are not enjoyed by the jobless.

In effect, proponents of this approach are saying that the rights enjoyed by those who have jobs are so important that other people should pay the price for them.

This fundamentally misunderstands the reason there are persistent downward pressures on the wages of existing workers. It is not because of any absence of worker protection, but because South Africa has so many would-be workers who are unemployed.

It is the size and desperation of what Karl Marx called the “reserve army of labour” that holds down wage growth in South Africa. The time has come for those who see themselves as friends of the working class to recognise this and to do everything in their power to make it economically feasible for more firms to offer more employment, especially to millions of unskilled workers.

That is the only route to a tighter labour market and long-term worker prosperity.

There is no prospect of South Africa going in one leap from 7.5million mainly unskilled unemployed to full employment on high-skill, high-wage, high-protection terms. Higher employment has no prospect of occurring until employers are confident the benefits of employing the unskilled outweigh the risks and costs.

Source: Sunday Times

• Sunday Times gives recognition to Ann Bernstein, who is the executive director of the Centre for Development and Enterprise and author of the award-winning book, The Case for Business in Developing Economies.

Entreperneur of the Year Competition

Beste AHi lede, neem asb. kennis van die geleentheid hieronder. Sommige AHi lede het baie goed gevaar in vorige jare van die kompetisie.

As daar een kompetisie is wat besigheidseienaars ‘n fantastiese geleentheid bied om die erkenning te kry wat hulle verdien, moet dit die uiters gewilde Entrepreneur van die Jaar-kompetisie wees wat deur Sanlam en Business Partners geborg word.

Dit is die 28ste jaar wat hierdie prestigeryke kompetisie ter erkenning van entrepreneurs in Suid-Afrika aangebied word, en dit word hoog aangeskryf deur die media sowel as alle belanghebbendes.

Volg asseblief hierdie skakel vir al die inligting oor hierdie kompetisie, die pryse wat gewen kan word en hoe om in te skryf:

www.eoy.co.za


 

Dear AHi members, kindly take note of the opportunity below. Some AHi members have done very well in previous years of the competition.

If there’s one competition that offers business owners a fantastic opportunity to get the recognition they deserve, it must be the highly popular Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) competition sponsored by Sanlam and Business Partners.

Now in its 28th year, this is the foremost competition for entrepreneurial recognition in South Africa and is highly rated by the media and all stakeholders.

Please follow this link for all the information about this competition, the prizes to be won and how to enter:

www.eoy.co.za

ABCONN Information

Africa Business Connect welcomes you to a new way of growing your business and connecting with other businesses online.

Click on the below icons to download the PDF forms.

 

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Besigheidsontleding: Sanlam

BESIGHEIDSONTLEDING : SANLAM

Beste kollegas

Meegaande e-pos van die AHI ontvang, word hiermee onder jou vriendelike aandag gebring vir gunstige oorweging.

Na aanleiding van ‘n gesprek wat ek hieroor met Sanlam rakende hulp van hul kantoor in PE ontvang het, is die volgende verdere skrywe hieroor van Jannie Rossouw, Hoof van Sanlam Besigheid Mark, ontvang :

“Ons sal julle graag wil ondersteun in Port Elizabeth, vandaar die volgende aanbod:

  • Ons kan vir  5 lede van julle sakekamer, met `n jaarlikse omset van >R5 miljoen, `n telefoniese besigheidsoptimaliserings ontleding doen. Dit sal `n 60 tot 90 min telefoniese onderhoud met die eienaar van die besigheid insluit, waarna die uitkoms in `n verslag verpak word wat dan telefonies met die besigheidseienaars bespreek word om gesamentlik te besluit watter aksies van stapel gestuur moet word en hoe Sanlam kan help om die gekose elemente te kan aanspreek/oplos.
  • Belangrik: Die besigheidseienaar se inset sal die “tyd” wees om deel te neem aan die proses. Ons Besigheidsoptimaliseringspesialis in Kaapstad sal die onderhoude fasiliteer.

Enige sakelid met die omset is welkom om met my hieroor in verbinding te tree oor die gunstige aanbod

Groete

Jannie Kruger

Bestuurder : KBF

076 3071399

office@kougabusinessforum.com


Geagte AHI lid

Ons kondig met groot blydskap aan dat die AHI oor die afgelope klomp maande hard daaraan gewerk het om tasbare voordele vir lede te beding.  Ons praat veral met ons korporatiewe lede soda tons saam kan uitwerk watter voordele hulle vir ons lede kan aanbied.  Terselfdetyd kyk ons ook hoe die korporatiewe daarby kan baat sodat ons ‘n wen-wen situasie vir almal kan skep. Dit is vir ons baie belangrik om die unieke waarde-aanbod van ons korporatiewe lede te bevorder.

Sanlam is ʼn langjarige en erkende stigters- en korporatiewe lid van die AHI en het besluit om ‘n nog meer betekenisvolle rol binne die AHI te speel.

Sanlam het ʼn elektroniese opsomming, wat hulle klein tot medium grootte besigheidswaarde-aanbod aan AHI-lede in ʼn maklik verstaanbare formaat opsom, saamgestel. Klik hier vir meer inligting. ʼn PDF-dokument met dieselfde inhoud word ook ingesluit.

Die waarde-aanbod sal oor die komende weke stuksgewys uitgepak word.

FOKUS-ELEMENT VIR APRIL 2016

In hierdie kommunikasie bring ons die Besigheidsoptimaliseringsontleding van Sanlam onder kwalifiserende AHI-lede se aandag. Die gratis diens is tot die beskikking van 20 AHI-lede wat besighede met ʼn jaarlikse omset van groter as R5 miljoen in Gauteng en Kaapstad besit. Dit is voorlopig hoe ons die projek gaan begin.

Wanneer ons met besigheidseienaars praat, vertel hulle vir ons presies wat hulle nodig het om die toekomstige sukses van hulle besighede ten opsigte van besigheidskontinuïteit, werknemerswelstand en welvaartskepping te verseker.

Die meeste van hulle volg nie noodwendig al die vereiste prosedures nie en het nie al die nodige dokumente in plek nie.

Om besighede met hierdie behoefte behulpsaam te wees, het Sanlam ʼn besigheidsoptimaliseringspesialis aangestel. In ʼn enkele vergadering met die besigheidseienaar, sal die spesialis vasstel watter prosedures en dokumente steeds uitstaande is.

Die besigheidsoptimaliseringspesialis sal dan met spesialiste in elke kategorie reël om die besigheidseienaar te help om die uitstaande vereistes te finaliseer.

Die proses en kwalifiserende vereistes:

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Skakel Sanlam Besigheidsmark by 0860 100 539 of klik hier indien jy van die gratis diens gebruik wil maak. Dorothy Carstens of Debbie Buys sal jou versoek ontvang en verdere aksie van stapel stuur. Gaan jy een van die 20 besighede wees wat van die diens gebruik gaan maak?