Cape Town - Illegal and violent strikes are not helping
South Africa's image internationally, acting government spokesperson Phumla
Williams said on Thursday.
In a media briefing in Cape Town following the executive's
Wednesday meeting, she said cabinet was concerned at the lawlessness, violence,
and intimidation that continued to pollute the otherwise democratic right of
workers to strike.
"It is a fact that as a democracy, the right to strike
is a defined right in South Africa that obligates the strikers to observe that
they cannot encroach on other people's rights as they enjoy theirs."
No one should be intimidated to take or not to take
industrial action in a democracy.
No one should resort to any forms of violence against people
or property as a form of striking or protest.
"Our struggle for freedom and democracy ensured that
our laws provide a space for protected peaceful strikes, which obviates the
need for illegal strikes accompanied by violence and intimidation," she
Cabinet thus reiterated its call for workers to use existing
channels with unions to address grievances and wage negotiations in a manner
that was in touch with the country's laws and collective bargaining practices.
"It is, among others, these illegal strikes and the
accompanying violence that is not helping the country's image internationally,
and is contributing to the already existing challenges facing our economy and
society," Williams said.
She also said cabinet was concerned at the
"uncomfortable" international macro-economic outlook.
"...South Africa is not left unaffected, due to global
factors but also domestic ones, as a result of which rating agencies altered
our standing from stable to negative," she said.
Cabinet intended taking the necessary measures to lift the
growth potential and competitiveness of the South African economy.
This was intended to address the domestic contributory
factors and to ensure that the impact of the downgrade was contained and did
not encroach on already constrained resources for key service delivery
programmes, she said.
"It should be noted that as a country, we take
seriously the role of (rating) agencies and that, as always, we view them as
necessary partners to do assessments... and reflect on the areas we should pay
attention to as an international actor on matters of economy," Williams
During the meeting, the executive had also approved the
2012/13 budget adjustments, the fiscal framework, and the division of revenue
for the 2013 medium-term expenditure framework to be published in the 2012
medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) later this month.
"Cabinet further noted with concern the impact of the
global economic downturn, and recent disruptions in the domestic economy due to
industrial action, and their combined impact on the performance of the South
The National Treasury would hold a fuller media briefing
after the MTBPS presentation in Parliament, she said.
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