Durban, South Africa — 04 October 2012 – The wave of illegal strikes sweeping through the South African mining industry has spread to the manufacturing sector, with Japanese car giant Toyota announcing that production at its Durban plant had halted this week after a staff walkout over pay.

Reuters reports that the stoppage is the latest to hit Africa’s largest economy, and piles more pressure on the leadership of President Jacob Zuma ahead of internal African National Congress (ANC) elections in December.

The Toyota plant in Durban, an industrial city on South Africa’s Indian Ocean coast, 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, 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.

Source: Reuters Africa. For more information, click here.