- South Africa trade unions mass strike in protest against high cost of living has almost paralysed transport services also immobilising businesses sector.
Congress of South African Trade Unions's (Cosatu) countrywide strike today against rocketing electricity prices has affected a range of services and businesses, including buses, trains, taxis, schools, mining companies, shops and factories.
Gold mining operations also suffered a blow due to a strike, with AngloGold Ashanti saying no shafts were operating while Harmony and Gold Fields said its operations were limited.
The strike has damaged South Africa's image, Efficient Group economist Dawie Roodt said, adding that Rand value cannot be compared to human lives.
Cosatu has already held three provincial strikes against escalating prices and has called on its 2-million members to participate in today's protests. Previous strikes saw the mining, car manufacturing and textile industries hardest hit. Teachers also stayed away from work and transport in some of the major centres ground to a halt.
Cosatu's main reason for mass strike is to hold government responsible, saying it has ignored the national cries, while other sectors had taken actions against escalating prices.
In post-apartheid era, this strike is the largest ever staged in South Africa, having gathered support from all nine provinces of the country.
Concerns have been raised from different giant mines like Anglogold Ashanti and Anglo Platinum that their daily production is on line as they were affected.
As South African economy has been unstable since beginning of the year after regular electricity cuts, Cosatu and its 21 affiliates main concern is to see betterment of lives but not to negatively affect the economy.
The action was called on terms of a section 77 notice of Labour Relations Act due to retrenchments threats in mining industry and elsewhere.
Eskom's has made a decision to reduce electricity supplies to industry and also issued warnings to oppose any new major construction initiatives, Western Cape Cosatu chairman Monroe Mkalipi reported.
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