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August 2011 | Angeline Albert
CEO of the South African Chamber ofCommerce and Industry (SACCI)
has criticised ongoing strike action in the country, warning of the damage it
is causing to the economy.
of the South African Municipal Workers'Union (SAMWU) are currently on
strike, demanding wage increases but protests have also involved rubbish being
spilled onto the streets of some cities and towns.
condemns the behaviour that has occurred in others such as the trashing of
streets in Cape Town, Durban, Mokopani and Nelspruit. SACCI is concerned at the
cost of such action,” he said.
follows the publication of SACCI’s latest trade survey that revealed the
strikes had contributed to deteriorating trading conditions in the country. According
to July’s Trade Activity Index (TAI)
- which measures sales, new orders, supplier deliveries, inventory and
employment – there was a severe contraction in activity compared with the
previous month. The index recorded a figure of 38, down from 47 in June. A
figure below 50 is negative.
strike season had a sobering effect on employment conditions. With performance
in the trade environment deteriorating severely, it is not able to afford above-inflation
wage increases,” said a statement. “The claims by labour in the business
environment are likely to severely dampen employment prospects in this sector
as well. The potential implications for employment in the broader economy is
TAI has been below 50 since April. The volume of new orders slipped from 43 in
June to 33 in July. The SACCI said rising costs such as fuel are also putting
margins under continual pressure. Sales and employment also declined when
compared with the previous month.