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Strikes spread to car manufacturers

Oct 04 2012 10:06

Cape Town - A wave of illegal strikes sweeping through South Africa’s mines has spread to the manufacturing sector, with Japanese car giant Toyota saying on Thursday all production at its Durban plant had halted this week after a staff walkout over pay.

The stoppage is the latest to hit SA's economy, and piles more pressure on the leadership of President Jacob Zuma ahead of the ANC elections in December.

The Toyota plant in Durban produces 120 000 vehicles a year, half of which are destined for overseas markets.

“We are confident that we will be able to resolve the issue soon and hope to restart production at the first possible shift,” Johan van Zyl, head of Toyota’s local operations, SA Motors, said in a statement.

Representatives of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), whose members are involved in the walkout three days ago, were not immediately available for comment.

Zuma is under fire for failing to address and contain the rolling workers’ protests, which in mid-August led to the killing by police of 34 strikers at the Marikana platinum mine run by Lonmin.

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