Mine strike could drive up petrol price

Mine strike could drive up petrol price

2014-04-30 21:00

Johannesburg - The ongoing strike in the platinum mining belt could affect petrol and food prices in the long run, warned economist Mike Schüssler on Wednesday.

He was presenting the 2014 Uasa South African Employment Report in Johannesburg and said the strike by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) is hurting the economy.

"The longer the strike carries on, the more sectors it influences and it damages the economy quite clearly," he said.

The current account, which was already weak, would negatively affect the rand so inflation and the buying power of the consumer would also be negatively affected.

Schüssler said the strike plays a big role in the confidence in the economy. The economy could recover, he added, but it would take time.

He also said the strike is taking workers into poverty.

"The mining companies are losing, but the biggest loser in this strike are the workers on the ground."

Amcu members at Lonmin [JSE:LON], Impala Platinum (Implats) [JSE:IMP] and Anglo Platinum (Amplats) [JSE:AMS] downed tools on January 23. Schüssler said the strike was the longest in the private sector in South African history since the 1987 miners' strike.

"Every week this strike goes on, more people will be affected."

"Job security is under severe pressure."

Schüssler said the strike was affecting between 150 000 and 200 000 people, but with dependants and family members included this number could be 700 000.

In the past two years, eight million work days had been lost due to strikes.

"This is more than 42 days lost per person working in the sector," he said.

Entry level workers had so far lost about R26 775 a person in wages alone and R5 016 in benefits.

Speaking on the sidelines, Schüssler said one of the problems facing the current strike would be for Amcu to find a way out of the strike, because there was a limited amount of "exit-strategy" left.

"The members have now been hurt beyond recognition... and I don't think that this union understands the strategic impact that they are having on the economy," he said.

"I think the normal member on the ground knows what the effect is, I think there is either intimidation... or they have been promised something that is not attainable. Ultimately, they are the actual biggest losers - the people on strike."

Schüssler said South Africa was one of very few countries where strikes had been increasing in the past few years, but he believed strikes would play a lesser role in future.

  • Dann Druff - 2014-04-30 21:25

    "but he believed strikes would play a lesser role in future"-because less people will have a job if the unions keep on running the show

  • Mark Engelbrecht - 2014-04-30 21:39

    R12500.00 a month is far less than the R70M a year the CEO gets. Or am I missing the point?

      Justin Louvain Van Niekerk - 2014-04-30 21:46

      You're missing the point.

      Amdyn - 2014-04-30 21:58

      Yep, you are definitely missing the point

      Francois Vorster - 2014-04-30 22:08

      My wife is a teacher and has been all her life and she does not even get what these mines are asking for. I say fire them if they do not want to work there are millions looking for work and who want to work.

      mark.k.davidson - 2014-04-30 22:09

      You definitely missed the point.

      Carlos Manuel Veloso - 2014-04-30 22:48

      François your wife wants a job at the minrs.

      denzel.naidoo.73 - 2014-05-01 01:42

      I think R12500 is a fair wage compared to what the executives earn; without the miners doing the dangerous jobs miners do, there'd be no mines. Add to the equation the high cost of living due to the bad governance from the ANC, R12500 is realistically a fair demand. Think about it.

      Jasper Sterling - 2014-05-01 02:20

      Which ceo's are you referring to that earn R70mil a year, or did you just pull a figure out the air that would suit your argument? Last I checked, the highest paid of the platinum companies is nowhere near that figure...most of the CEOs at the largest companies are earning in the 5-12 mil range.

      Jasper Sterling - 2014-05-01 03:14

      I want a bigger house. My CEO has one that is well over 1000sqm on a property many times that. I am a systems analyst, have a son who's just started walking and two dogs... They need space to play. Gonna go tell the boss tomorrow he must pay us analysts (about 100 of us) 30% more cos big houses in constantia don't come cheap. I work hard, and actually so do the cleaners...they should also be bumped up 5k or so (Mable was saying just the other day she wished she could buy a Fortuner SUV to fit all her kids in...I think she deserves one, cos it's hard to get 5 kids into her little corsa - I know she only makes coffee and washes dishes, but she does it really well). Cost of living is high these days, we can't afford things anymore...yes I know that's largely govts fault not my bosses, but I still think he should buy a smaller pad, and take a pay cut, cos we deserve more. If the business starts running at a loss, then he must sell some of his things, he has loads, can't just retrench, people need their jobs. Seems reasonable to me, wish me luck.

      Pieter Calitz - 2014-05-01 04:26

      You are missing not only the point, but also the word, the paragraph and everything else.

  • dawn.kilian - 2014-04-30 21:48

    Give the miners a decent salary life is tough out there ... Really we can't afford another petrol hike... Give the CEO a smaller amount in order so the miners can survive ..... The CEO sits and does nothing.....????

      Amdyn - 2014-04-30 21:59

      Shareholders pay the CEO. Do you really think they would pay the CEO so much to "sit around and do nothing" ?

      Jasper Sterling - 2014-05-01 02:41

      Ok, so let's take the highest paid at 17mil...that's +-1.5mil per month, and let's give it all the the workforce. They employ around 40000-45000? Let's be conservative and say 30000. That gives you a whopping... Wait for it... R50!!! LOL!!! Epic fail! Hell, even if we use the bogus quote of 70mil bandied about in another comment and extrapolate across only 20000 workers, you still only come out at a number under 300extra per month if you paid the CEO nothing at all! Why not forget about what the next oke is getting, and do the work you agreed to do at the rate you agreed to when you applied for the job, or don't take it!?

      Jasper Sterling - 2014-05-01 03:26

      Is it the mine bosses fault petrol is so expensive? Maybe they should demand the local petrol station drop their price -- they need to drive around (everyone deserves affordable fuel). The owners of petrol stations are rich, they can afford it.

  • Robert Burroughs - 2014-04-30 21:59

    Just one question. How long will it take for them to make up the money (wages/salaries) lost in this strike? The only winners in this are the union bosses. They get paid every month, in full.

      Amdyn - 2014-04-30 22:15

      Will never catch up

      Ipeleng Carthbert - 2014-04-30 22:27

      loss or not!!! we want a better living wage , we have to loss something to gain something

      Jasper Sterling - 2014-05-01 03:30


      Jasper Sterling - 2014-05-01 03:32

      The stupid strong in this one is. Classic.

  • Mzwandile Jola Dlamanzi - 2014-04-30 22:24

    Not suprising at all, even a warning by an economist can up the petrol price and food these days.

  • Xolani J Mbambo - 2014-04-30 22:30

    I feel like Joseph Mathunjwa is misleading the workers now this has gone beyond the need of the decent salary... But because the Mining Companies belong to the 'white capitalists'. He is fully aware of the damage that is caused by the 'everlasting strike'

  • maraisl - 2014-04-30 22:33

    Why can't they have the miners sign a contract with the mine so that cannot strike once a agreement has been reached? Why is there nothing forcing the unions to pay 50% of the workers salaries whilst they are on strike. That would put an end to useless unions and only leave the serious unions. It would force the unions to conclude negotiations without any delay. Surely Pravin must realize the impact of what is happening... I'm sure we will have this discussion again in 8 months

      Obakeng Rathulwane - 2014-04-30 23:08

      If u had ever in ur life faced goin to strike u shld understand why ppl strike. I'm very much sure u hv never in ur ur life hd to go on strike bcz u hv nothin to cry abt n if u knew wt a union meant; u wouldn't b tlkn abt unions paying 50% to its ppl. No union shld take or evn make desicions fo it's ppl. We the ppl are the ones with the mandate nt the union.

      Jasper Sterling - 2014-05-01 04:03

      So why apply for the job in the first place knowing the pay is not enough!? They all want CEO pay, so why not apply for a CEO post; they all seem to think what they do is comparable to what a CEO does.

  • Solomzi Mkizwana - 2014-04-30 22:45

    Strike or no strike petrol price is always going up

  • nicholusd - 2014-04-30 22:49

    Wise information there, but still when was the last time you had that the petrol price is going down for @ least a rand. I can't remember, so let the impact proceed, we are not benefitting but pay as we take a step forward or back. It's good that the mine sector can negotiate on wages whereas petrol prices are not negotiated but they just hit the roof and go sky high. It's time the mine give the workers what they deserve and it's still minimum or not close to living wage.

      Ian Trenor - 2014-05-01 03:54

      @kevin you can explain till you blue in the face bud. It's not worth the high blood pressure. That's why I got out. The penny might drop in a hundred years with this bunch! Eish!!!!!!

  • Deric Slabberts - 2014-04-30 23:15

    Any excuse to raise the bloody petrol price

  • Legote Seitiso Milford - 2014-04-30 23:21


  • Bongane Bongane - 2014-05-01 01:24

    I'm massively shocked by this.since Nigeria has risen economically,this was a major step down in our economy.ZUMA has deepen our government worries,his leadership has made a deeper collapsed in our economy.an intensely leadership is extremely needed in this country for success•as we are stepping closer to the final voting date,we must rethink importantly before making any dicisions•

  • Henk Delport191 - 2014-05-01 03:15

    Sello at leasst the people have a income now they suffering no food no money for kids education and I garentee you 1000 of jobs will be lost after strike and who will be retrenched the workers and union bosses stay in their mansions with full belly will turn a blind eye remember it and remember more than half of the plat mines have black bosses

  • DraconiaShadow - 2014-05-01 07:13

    they know exactly what they are doing . cripple the economy so that whites cannot survive . only thing is they are making their own people suffer . part of the revolution strategy ?

  • Ken Sudding - 2014-05-01 07:49

    Yeah! Any lousy excuse to drive up prices to the detriment of the population. Since when is petrol derived from platinum? The entire economy is doomed due to unreasonable wage demands. All thanks to the ANC and its promises.

  • Kings Maruping - 2014-05-01 08:47

    Prior to strike petrol price has bn going up every month, therefore i didnt expect it to decrease because we have thugs in our government and they are stealing everything even RDP houses, we are leaving in a corrupt state and it is going crazy this days!

  • Bulelwa Poni - 2014-05-01 09:17

    amcu stewards killed 700 000 loyal citizens since 23 january !!!

  • pages:
  • 1