The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) calls on the leadership of NUMSA to delay the industrial action scheduled to start next week in the metal and engineering industry. If NUMSA is truly committed to cooperation with Government and Business to work towards a more prosperous South Africa, then it should return to the negotiating table and not put South Africa's economic stability at risk. This is especially pertinent given the severe economic impact of the prolonged platinum strike. A review of the industrial relations framework is also necessary to find ways to balance the rights of workers and the broader economy.
South Africa has less than six months left to convince credit rating agencies and the international community in general of our stability as an investment destination, which will require above-average levels of production and economic activity. The strike by the metalworkers will effectively erase the opportunity for South Africa to redeem itself and government bonds will most certainly be downgraded. This will in turn lead to higher cost of credit for the entire economy, from large corporate bonds to consumer credit.
SACCI is proud of the South African tradition of social dialogue and cooperation between Government, Business and Labour, but the time has come for Labour to act in a responsible manner and consider the interests of the country.