the platinum strike may not impact directly on the consumer, it
and the current NUMSA action will have a decided impact on how
South Africa is perceived by international business. The mining
strike had a direct impact of the country’s credit worthiness
and may well influence tax rates as the government tries to raise
additional revenue to fund its social upliftment programmes.
NUMSA action has a far wider implication. The metal workers sector
of the economy covers a wide range of industries. The main
industry to be impacted will be the motor vehicle manufacturers.
However, this industry farms out a great deal of component
manufacturing work to lesser industries and those, in turn, rely
on still smaller businesses for the supply of their raw materials.
has been estimated that the current action will cost the economy R
300 million per day and result in an even greater loss of face
with the international business community. Already, some
international firms are considering closing their South African
operations and moving to countries with a more amenable labour
one studies the history of strike action in the United Kingdom, it
is clear that, in the 60's, it had a disastrous impact on that
economy. Large motor manufacturing plants closed their doors or
were taken over by foreign concerns that drastically curtailed the
British operations resulting in huge job losses. The economy took
nearly twenty years to recover from the blow.
the government should take urgent steps to make our labour laws
less punitive to business and reduce the bias that, currently,
favours the worker. One area that bears attention is placing a
limitation on the duration of strikes.