THE strike by municipal workers is costing the country in the region of R15million a day, an economist said yesterday.
Economist Mike Schussler said: "The problem is that it's very difficult to work out [the cost]. I can't work out the damage of all the shops and the traders.
"But the cost is about R15million a day in workers' wages, I guess."
He said the longer the strike continued the more the cost would escalate.
"By the second week it becomes a huge problem, because then a person pays out of his own pocket to remove his rubbish." Schussler said.
Figures on the number of municipal workers arriving for work also vary.
The unions claim "overwhelming" support, with more than 150000 out of 190000 not showing up.
But the employer, the SA Local Government Association, says only 40 percent of workers participated in the stayaway. - Sapa