Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Knock-on effects of the Transnet strike

"BMW South Africa group communications and public affairs GM Guy Kilfoil said it had become clear that service and international competitiveness were not Transnet’s first priorities, spurred on by the fact that the parastatal could act as a monopoly."

"BMW South Africa currently exported its vehicles through the Durban port, which belonged to Transnet. However, the vehicle manufacturer had just completed a second test run through the Maputo harbour, in neighboring Mozambique. Kilfoil said there was no detailed business study on this available yet, but added that it was clear that port charges at Maputo were lower than those at Durban."

Ironically, how many jobs would be lost if BMW South Africa moved one of its production facilities to Maputo due to unreliable electricity and freight rail supply? This would be a clear example organised labour in South Africa contributing to unemployment.

Full article at Creamer Media.

Transnet strike costs farmers R1bn
Similar effects in the agricultural industry...

"A transport strike in South Africa, now in its third week, has resulted in farmers losing over $127 million, putting jobs in the agricultural sector under threat..."

"In the past year, the agriculture sector has shed more than 100,000 jobs and only 30,000 were created in the first quarter, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tina Joemat-Pettersson said, adding: 'These jobs are now under threat as the sectors themselves are facing production losses.' "

Full article at Creamer Media.

1 comment:

  1. Yet more unintended consequences of a government monopoly and "fair" labour laws. I don't blame the unions: they're just acting as rational, self-interested parties and are making the most of the legal/economic environment they operate in.

    As always, the root problem is government. Without its monopoly, Transnet would lose customers during this strike period to transport companies that (thanks to fewer labour laws) would have non-unionized work forces. Knowing that disruptive industrial action could destroy their employer, Transnet's unions would be less likely to strike in the first place. Agreed?