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Mining Strikes - Real Winners and Losers

21 September 2012, 10:50
So now that the miners have gone back to work,who are the real winners and losers in all of this?  

The Winners:  

1.The striking miners got a 22% pay rise and for that returned to work at Lonmin.

2.The pessimist and doomsday sayers that predicted a Zimbabwe style downward slide for South Africa will feel very much vindicated in all this.

3.Anarchist wielding machetes,knobkerries,spears means provocative violent strikes does indeed work and you get things done this way instead of talking for hours around a negotiating table.    

4.Religion is not so dead after all in South Africa. The facts that the South African Council of Churches got involved as mediators to bring a measure of calm to an already volatile situations,shows you religion still has a huge part to play in people's lives.    

5.Julias Malema.Hate to say this,but Malema was a big winner here. Opportunistic indeed he was no less,but he has electrified the voiceless poor masses to wage his cynical war with the ANC and Jacob Zuma in particular.So 1-0 to Malema over Zuma.    

The Losers:
 

1. Trade Unions almost always walk away with making hefty wage gains,and usually are more than twice the rate of inflation.But this time it's the workers at the lower end of the scale that came off better with their 22% salary increases.   The trade union's power and stubbornness is to blame for South Africa's current high unemployment rates. The reason being is that they have had such a stranglehold on Government that whenever it raises its voice,the rest of South Africa panics.

The labour laws and the draconian way unions operate in the hiring and firing of workers in South Africa are terrible. Unionized workers are the minority workforce in South Africa,but unfortunately they are the ones with the jobs that pay decent wages and that already makes themselves rich compared to other basic workers in the country like the miners. 

Unions are not benefiting the average or basic pay workers in South Africa. They only making them pay the price for their demands. Unions were supposed to do the opposite of that which is fighting and battling for the average and poorest of the poor in the country.

2.Lonmin and Foreign Investors. Leading international fund managers has announced that they've reduced their holdings in South Africa's natural resource sectors since the Marikana mining incidents flared up.

All major foreign investors have decided to "unwind" their exposure in South Africa indefinitely. The reasons they gave was the "fraught nature of the labour laws in South Africa and the political uncertainty that surrounds the ANC.
  Many more global institutions were also selling off all their holdings and businesses in South Africa's mining sectors quite fast and furiously because of all the strikes,whether they'd be legal or illegal.

3.Jacob Zuma.Accussed by Malema of being out of touch with his own people and too slow to react to the situation in which 45 people were killed in the Marikana strikes,a second term in government for Zuma looks destined to be over.The (Dick)tator that embodies and articulates all the confusions and contradictions of his party,look set to end the horror show at least for the time being by the looks of it.    

4.The ANC Government itself. Since they came to power in 1994,the ANC,has been diverting South Africa's natural resources from the production sector through its weird and uncanny tax system for government consumption and government salaries. That means that South Africa's private sector has had no funds to invest in anything else.

The nominal tax burden or government income tax,is 27%. However when you have to pay for lets say private security,while you at the same time are already paying taxes for the police service to protect you or your property,it means that you actually paying 43% of your income into the tax system in South Africa. And that's just one example. 

The ANC government has been taxing the South African economy to fund its own people's salary spending,building up their so-called black middle class through the state sector and which are getting paid very high incomes.

To put this in perspective,Germany's Angela Merkel earns less money than any of the South African ministers and mayors it was said recently. The black elite class or cadres in South Africa had been enriching themselves at the expense of South Africa's production sector and now these miners like every other STRIKER wants a share of all that.
   
The mysteries and narratives of everyday life in South Africa is that the rulers,past and present have made our country far too complicated to be fully understood.     .

References:   1.Financial Times.   2.CNBC.   3.Skynews   4.Independent Newspaper. 

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