Hundreds of thousands of workers from various sectors of the South African mining industry have been on strike for several weeks in a row to improve working conditions and raise wages. Recently, a strike swept through the gold mining sector.
The powerful mining workers ’union is demanding a 14% pay rise, while gold miners Harmony Gold and AngloGold Ashanti have proposed discussing a 7-9% pay rise.
Raw material experts expect strikes in South Africa to affect production of very important products. South Africa is one of the largest mining countries in the world and a major producer of gold, diamonds, platinum and palladium. The cessation of production in the country’s mining industry will put pressure on the prices of these goods.
The South African Chamber of Mines has expressed its regret over possible supply disruptions caused by the strikes. The unions do not appear to be willing to compromise and are willing to extend the strike if their demands are not met. First, diamond miners and energy workers went on strike and the miners joined them earlier in the week. South African media report that the country’s coal industry is operating at between 10-20% of its average potential.