Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Perfect Storm?

As South Africa enters a recession we are yet again threatened with intensified strike action and even more stringent labour laws. This during a time when the country desperately needs to attract foreign investment and stem the flow of companies trading offshore.

South Africa Enters Recession

JOHANNESBURG -- South Africa's gross domestic product contracted sharply in the first quarter as manufacturers and mining companies slashed output and jobs, pushing Africa's largest economy into recession for the first time since 1992.

GDP fell an annualized 6.4%, the most since 1984, after shrinking an annualized 1.8% in the final quarter of 2008, according to data Tuesday from Statistics South Africa. The abrupt end to more than a decade of growth will give the South African Reserve Bank -- the country's central bank -- further impetus to cut interest rates when its monetary-policy committee meets this week, and is likely to weigh heavily on the government. President Jacob Zuma led his African National Congress party to another majority last month on a campaign against poverty and joblessness. Manufacturing, which makes up more than 15% of the economy, fell a record annualized 22.1%, while mining shrank 32.8%.

ANC South Africa GDP hits wall

New labour law coming

Cape Town - The ANC on Wednesday confirmed that legislation to address labour broking is on the cards. "The African National Congress has noted that divergent views have recently been expressed within the alliance on the future of labour brokers," spokeswoman Jessie Duarte said.

As part of enriching a robust debate on this, the ANC respected other opinions on the matter. "In line with its 2009 election manifesto, the ANC would like to set the record straight on its position regarding labour brokers.

"To avoid exploitation of workers, ensuring decent work for all workers, as well as protecting employment relationships, the ANC government will introduce laws to regulate contract work, subcontracting and outsourcing, address the problem of labour broking, and prohibit certain abusive practices," she said.

To cover vulnerable workers in different legal relationships, ensuring the right to permanent employment for affected workers, the manifesto further stated that provisions would be introduced to facilitate unionisation of workers and conclusion of sectoral collective agreements. The ANC was committed to redressing past exploitative practices at workplaces and would like to see the creation of decent work and sustainable livelihoods taking root in all sectors of the South African economy,

Duarte said Samwu serves notice for strike

Johannesburg - The SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) has served notice of a strike among all its members in Gauteng after the collapse of wage talks for bus drivers, an official said on Wednesday.

Samwu Gauteng spokesperson Dumisani Langa said all 54 000 of its members in the province would down tools on May 28. "We have served the city with notice," Langa told Sapa.

3 Opinion(s):

Joe King said...

Will security companies, office cleaning contractors, catering companies et al be affected by the new labour law. After all it is a specialised form of labour hire? Where does one draw the line. many alrger comapnies use these labour hire companies during stock-take. How is casual labour to be affected? The mind boggles.

Exzanian said...

It's a never ending series of waves of bad news for those living in SA. To top it all, this recession was not caused by anything in SA, and now the rabble are aggravating the situation. I wonder if anyone in SA remembers the last really "feel good" vibes they had? I would hazard a guess and say it was probably October 2007 with the Rugby world cup victory. Eish, what a piece of crap SA is turning into, nothing to feel good about.


Labour brokers exist because our present labour law is pretty unrealistic as it does not take the RSA realities of the labour market to account. To create more hurdles is totally counterproductive if you want to create more jobs.