Continuing and new strikes hang over South Africa’s economy like a dark cloud

2014-06-06
Adv Anton Alberts

Rustenburg is only the eye of the storm of strikes which is threatening to become totally out of control and force South Africa’s economy, which according to prominent economists is already in a recession, into the abyss, Adv. Anton Alberts, the FF Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on the economy says.

Adv. Alberts says that everything, such as the latest threats of strikes made by Numsa, is pointing to the prolonged Rustenburg strike will spill over to other sectors. Numsa has already indicated that it would start with strikes in the production and construction industry as well as at Eskom, while Amcu could possibly start with strikes in the gold mining industry.

According to Adv. Alberts, the possible strikes at gold mines are especially disconcerting as the profit margins at gold mines are much lower than that in the platinum industry and that it would very negatively impact on the economy.

“The FF Plus says there are mainly two reasons for the strike problem which is apparently continuing unabated. The first is that the ANC has been in charge of the country’s economy for the past twenty years and with only a couple of exceptions has mismanaged the economy completely.

“Aggressive cadre deployment actions in the state and private sector through affirmative action (AA) and Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) has allowed the economy to stagnate and merely created new divisions between rich and poor.

“One of the country’s economic strengths, its mineral wealth, have been mismanaged by consecutive ANC ministers that this wealth could not show any real dividends in the past twenty years,” Adv. Alberts says.

He said the second reason for the economy’s slow pace is the growing trend of the ANC to move to the left of the economic spectrum with the focus on redistribution rather than on growth. These policy directions are seriously considered by the country’s first world trading partners and becomes a stumbling block to foreign investment.

“Investments will decline in South Africa. Many of our foreign trade partners’ governments are not socialist-minded and will in future be less so if one considers voting trends in Europe.

“The growing wealth-gap in South Africa has the symptomatic effect that trade unions are becoming more aggressive to reduce the gap between pay of ordinary workers and that of management, but it is being done at the cost of the unemployed and South Africa’s economy as a whole.

“It appears as if the current labour dispensation is not robust enough to deal with these aggressive and prolonged strike trends. The dispensation does not provide for the possibility to end strikes prematurely.

“The belligerent parties should at a certain point be forced to come to an agreement to prevent that increasing number of cities overnight fall into poverty,” Adv. Albert says.

 

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