n Acta Juridica - Is South African labour law fit for the global economy?




South Africa's exceptionally low ratio of employment to working age population is often blamed on 'rigid' labour laws. However, the World Bank's indicators provide no persuasive evidence to support this claim. Instead of this kind of crude reductionism, the task of labour lawyers is to advance policies and practice that aid development, employment growth and redistribution by building on South Africa's comparative advantages on a floor of fundamental human rights. This contribution examines a number of possible economic and political models that advance these goals. It argues that the model of 'regulated flexibility' is still appropriate for South Africa, albeit that a number of failures in the application of this model need to be corrected.


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