busa appeals for end to strike
ECONOMISTS and business leaders want the Metrorail and Transnet strikes resolved immediately.
The labour action, which has already cost the country billions of rand, could lead to a total breakdown of services and the economy.
Jerry Vilakazi, CEO of Business Unity South Africa said the timing of the strike was not good.
"The strike is not healthy for the economy. Although we are not able to quantify the loss it cost, if it continues it will lead to billions of rand in loss," he said.
"It is denting to the economy because it does not only affect the movement of people but the movement of goods. This is not good, especially now that we are urging business to use rail to transport goods," Vilakazi said. "As Busa, we have already urged all parties involved to come to a solution."
The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry said in a statement that the economy faces the loss of productivity as 25percent of the South African workforce is denied access to transport due to the strike in rail commuter services.
The transport unions behind yesterday's crippling train strike are calling for the head of Passenger Rail Safety Association of SA chief Lucky Montana.
Yesterday, about 2000 Utatu and Satawu members marched on the Metrorail office in Cape Town, accusing Montana of mismanaging Metrorail.
Utatu general secretary Chris de Vos said: "We want to tell Montana: we will take you out. Montana is in the comfort zone, earning R3million a year plus a R2million bonus."
Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said: "For too long we have seen these state institutions being mismanaged."
Ehrenreich also criticised the government for bailing out SA Airways time and time again but "disregarding workers" in the train industry.
Satawu's provincial secretary Evan Abrahamse said workers would continue the strike until they got a 15percent increase, four months fully paid maternity leave, and an increase in night shift allowance.