S.Africa taking initiative to end mines strike - Finmin Nene - CNBC Africa

S.Africa taking initiative to end mines strike - Finmin Nene


by Reuters 0

The South African government is taking the initiative to end a crippling 18-week platinum sector strike.

The new Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said this on Thursday.

(READ MORE: Changes in S.Africa's labour laws in light of platinum strikes)

"It's very critical, government is doing everything in its power. Government is taking the initiative," Nene told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Maputo.

The impact of the strike was seen in first quarter GDP data on Tuesday, where a 24.7 per cent plunge in mining output dragged South Africa's economy into contraction.

Since the strike has spilled over into the second quarter, Africa's most advanced economy could head into recession this year.

"It is quite essential to realise what the impact is of the continuing strike", Nene, adding that compromise was needed from both sides. "There is mediation at the moment... there are meetings now underway."

President Jacob Zuma picked a new cabinet on Sunday, and new mines minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi has put together a team to help resolve the strike, saying the deadlock in the country's longest and costliest work stoppage would soon be broken.

(READ MORE: S.Africa mines minister vows to break strike deadlock)