Cape Town, South Africa — 07 November 2012 – Strikes in the South African mining industry are expected to reduce the country’s exports by US$1.5 billion and to cut gross domestic product by a percentage point of 0.5 this year.
Revealing this in a written reply to a parliamentary question, finance minister Pravin Gordhan said the strikes had cut gold and platinum output by US$1.2 billion and coal production by US$20 million, and it’s not known how much of those losses could be recouped.
Bloomberg News reports that violent labour unrest in the mining industry began in January this year with a stoppage by workers at Impala Platinum Holdings Limited “’ the world’s second-largest platinum producer “’ that left four people dead. Close to 50 people died during an illegal six-week strike that began on 10 August at Lonmin plc’s Marikana platinum mine. Labour action has also shut down shafts owned by AngloGold Ashanti Limited, Gold Fields Limited and other companies.
“Export losses exceed direct losses as mining has strong linkages with other sectors of the economy, which are also negatively affected,” Gordhan wrote. “Among the sectors most affected are fabricated metal products, machinery and equipment, rubber and basic iron and steel.”
Source: Bloomberg News. For more information, click here.