Transnet strike costs SA R7bn

THE industrial action at Transnet has inflicted collateral damage throughout South Africa.

THE industrial action at Transnet has inflicted collateral damage throughout South Africa.

The SA economy is but one of the casualties of the strike that is well into its third week.

Business Unity South Africa (Busa) estimates the costs of the strike to the economy at R7billion, or about 0,2percent of gross domestic product.

Beyond the statistical aggregates lies the devastating effects the strike is having on companies and workers in sectors such as transport and agriculture, Busa says. It warns that retrenchments may be looming.

"Supply chains are being severely disrupted and in many cases export contracts have been permanently lost," Busa said, emphasising the increasingly damaging impact the strike is having on the economy.

Across industries, firms have begun admitting that they are feeling the full brunt of the industrial action, which has disrupted routine operations at the country's rail network and ports since May 10.

The Richards Bay Coal Terminal, the world's single largest coal terminal, warned this week its operations could be "severely impacted" if Satawu's sympathy strike went ahead.

Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson has said more than R1billion had been lost as a result of fruit and other produce being held up.

Even the National Chamber of Milling says the strike has affected the rail transportation of agricultural commodities such as maize and wheat. - I-Net Bridge

X