CAPE TOWN Oct 25 Strikes hitting South Africa's
platinum and gold mines have cost the continent's largest
economy just over 10 billion rand ($1.14 billion) so far this
year, the National Treasury said on Thursday.
Output from the world's top platinum and major gold producer
has been curtailed by months of labour unrest that have hit the
sector responsible for about 6 percent of gross domestic
product, raising concerns about growth prospects.
"Declining mining output and the spread of strike activity
has depressed activity in related industries including
manufacturing, logistics and services, with negative
consequences for GDP," the Treasury said in its interim budget
In the year to August, mining output fell by 3.3 percent,
with production of platinum group metals 15.3 percent lower,
although strong iron ore demand from China has helped offset
some of the decline in the platinum, gold and coal sectors, it
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who marginally cut the
country's GDP forecast for the year to 2.5 percent from the 2.7
percent forecast in February, said it would take government some
time to determine the full impact of the mining strife on
"We will take that knock, recover from it and move on
because life doesn't end now or next week. Life moves on,"
Gordhan said during a press conference ahead of delivering his
three-year budget policy statement in parliament.
About 100,000 workers have downed tools for better pay since
August in a wave of strikes that has sparked two credit
downgrades and prompted questions about the relatively slow
response of President Jacob Zuma's government.
Most of the strikes have been settled, either with pay
raises well above inflation or with employers sacking - or
threatening to sack - workers who walked out on wildcat strikes.
In the worst of the unrest, police shot dead 34 striking
platinum miners at Lonmin's Marikana mine on Aug. 16,
in the bloodiest security incident since the end of apartheid in