FOREIGN Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo has lashed out at errand business operators for unjustifiably pushing up prices of goods and warned that at some point government will enforce compliance measures to protect hard-pressed consumers.
Moyo told NewsDay last week that the ongoing price hikes were a result of indiscipline.
Since the new administration came into power last year, the economy has continuously nose-dived, raising questions on the government’s capacity to stabilise the situation.
“This is a very temporary phenomenon, what we are going through and sometimes also they say in a democracy there must be discipline,” Moyo said.
“We cannot separate democracy and discipline. If you lack discipline, then what it means is that people would want to maximise on profits, but in reality profits are basically 10-15%. That is not exactly what is happening on the market.
“We are saying we must be united in achieving the specific national interests, but if we behave in an undisciplined manner, unfortunately, it will pain a lot of people. We could have ameliorated that particular pain if we were disciplined as a society, as a business, as different sectors of the economy.”
The last few weeks have seen exorbitant price increases, especially on basic commodities such as bread, mealie meal and others.
Moyo said although it will not be ideal to enforce control measures, government would be left with no option if the situation goes unmitigated.
“Definitely, as government we are going to enforce discipline, but what we don’t want was to try and be hard-handed to our people, we want to talk to our people so that they understand that we are together and we are moving in a particular direction,” he said.
Moyo said focus must be on achieving all of the 2030 targets and all hands must be on the deck to ensure there is one objective.