Strikes may be game-changer

2012-10-11 14:34

Johannesburg - The current spate of illegal and unprotected strikes may be a game-changer for South Africa's economy, Bankserv Africa warned on Thursday.

"Not only is the budget deficit now likely to be higher, but business confidence is likely to wane as the medium-term effect of strikes makes life difficult," the payment clearing company said.

This added uncertainty for consumers and the business sector.

The monthly Bankserv Economic Transaction Index (Beti) for October, released on Thursday, showed the economy was stagnating.

The Beti was calculated at 119.6, compared to 119.9 for September. This meant it was growing at little more than population growth, currently around 1%.

Economic transactions had now shown a seasonally adjusted monthly and quarterly decline for four months in a row, Bankserv warned.

The stagnation identified by the index was broadly in line with slower growth in new vehicle sales, declining passenger arrivals for both domestic and international flights at South African airports, and still declining year-on-year electricity sales.

The October 2012 Beti had shown only a marginal improvement compared to the same period last year, when it reached 116.8, after peaking in May. This indicated the economy was once again stalling.

Although the chance of a recession was small, the risk of an economic decline was far greater.

"Things will not work the way they used to," said economist Mike Schussler.

Business should revisit its strategy and look for new opportunities.

The violence at Lonmin's Marikana mine had changed the labour relationship, in that an unprotected strike managed to secure increases for workers which were well above inflation.

Employees were thus likely to expect higher wage increases than before.

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  • Jellyarse - 2012-10-11 15:08

    I doubt Mr Malema could read this coherently, let alone understand the implications - God save South Africa!

  • braamc - 2012-10-11 15:26

    Economic freedom, eish why is the pap so expensive, eish

  • Gatvol Griet - 2012-10-11 15:31

    So the ANC beast comes to strangle herself and her babies... Like all other bloody revolutions, you are your own, shameful downfall. Your arrogance did you in.

  • issa.kabudula - 2012-10-11 16:13

    The government and the people must quickly learn to manage stuations and learn to discuss matters early before it comes off hand. Its unrealistic of the employers and the government - where the two organs are informed either from its employees or the union that we are going to strike next month because of our less money we are receiving now, yet the two organs (government & the private sector) do blush the warning thinking that they are just talking, come the day tools are dropped down, shops robbed, other workers killed, properties destroyed and then we sit down and negotiate. This to me as an individual is unrealistic and lack of leadership in general, people need to be controlled and people must be informed early of the results of not following the rule.

      Axel - 2012-10-14 17:14

      All of this is good but most of these strikes are illegal and so are the means strikers use to get what they want. Strikers often break the law by resorting to intimidation and even murdering those who don't think alike. Once organs of the state take tough action against them to stop their unlawful actions, they are the first to point out that their rights are being violated. As if killing someone who is going to work to feed his family is lawful, so is the act of torching a truck driven by a non-striking worker. Please don't get me wrong, i am not against the right people have to go on strike, but the means used during the strike action. Since most criminals hid behind the crowd to cover their deeds, I think union leaders should be held responsible for any murder, assault...committed against non-striking workers and the rest of the society at large. It is very easy to come on state TV and claim that those actions were done by criminals and not people on strike. Until criminal charges against union leaders are not brought up, street law will always prevail above the right of the rest of the society.

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