President warns of miner strike forcing a recession
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has called on striking miners to resolve their differences with employers before the strikes force the nation into recession.
President Zuma was speaking at the national Congress of South African Trade unions (COSATU) at which he warned of the loss to the economy as well as the potential for the strike to force a recession. The relevant part of the president’s speech is as follows:
We also wish to urge the workers and their employers to find solutions to the dispute without further delay, given its ongoing impact on the economy.
Our financial indicators indicate that the total rand value of production lost in the gold and platinum group of mines due to work stoppages over the past nine months is close to 4.5 billion rand.
Losses in the coal sector, adds another 118 million rand to the total.
The National Treasury estimates that through its indirect impact on the economy, the strike actions in addition to other stoppages have subtracted close to 3.1 billion rand already from the national fiscus.
The impact goes beyond the mining sector. The manufacturing sector, especially the Fabricated Metal Products sector is already showing signs of strain.
We cannot afford to go into a recession, and revert to the 2008 and 2009 period where the country lost close to a million jobs, which we are still battling to recover. We wish the employers and workers well as they seek a solution to this wage impasse. Government will continue to provide support to the negotiations, through the Ministry of Labour.”
The full text of the speech can be found here.