Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 12 May 2010 – The transport strike at South African ports and railroads, which has slowed exports of coal and ferrochrome, is to continue for a third day today, after state-owned Transnet Limited again rejected demands for a wage hike.
At a meeting in Johannesburg yesterday, Transnet negotiators told union leaders they would not improve their offer of an 11% wage increase, the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) said in an e-mailed statement. Unions are demanding a 15% wage increase.
“Satawu views management’s response as highly irresponsible,” the statement said. “The strike therefore continues.”
Meanwhile, the United Transport & Allied Workers’ Union said Transnet services had been “heavily” disrupted today as it joined a strike.
The iron-ore railway between Sishen and Saldanha on the country’s west coast is “virtually” at a standstill, general secretary Chris de Vos said in a telephone interview. Imports into the country ahead of the World Cup soccer tournament had also been affected, he added.
Kumba Iron Ore Limited “’ the largest African producer of the ore, which it exports through the western port of Saldanha “’ fell 0.6% to R324 in Johannesburg, and the rand weakened 0.2% to R7.5174 against the dollar last night.
South Africa is the largest supplier of coal to European power plants, and the world’s biggest exporter of ferrochrome, used in the production of stainless steel.