The total value of losses in mining production due to the crippling 2012 strikes has exceeded the R15 billion mark, the National Treasury estimates.
According to the 2013/14 budget review document, copper production fell by 21.8 percent, gold by 14.5 percent, and platinum by 12 percent.
Mining output was not expected to recover anytime soon.
“Delays in the resumption of full operations, shaft closures, and fraught labour relations could constrain output for a prolonged period,” the document said.
This had a knock-on effect on sectors closely linked to mining.
“Metal products - the largest component in manufacturing output - and the electrical machinery sector were the worst performers in 2012. Output in many sectors remains significantly below pre-recession levels.”
On the strike by farmworkers in the Western Cape, it was noted that while a 50 percent increase in wages would boost farmworker incomes it could also lead to job losses.
“The depth of labour frustrations in the mining and agricultural sectors is partly rooted in unsustainable economic and social conditions, sharpened by the rising cost of living.”
For these sectors to prosper, employers and labour organisations had to make more concerted efforts to tackle concerns.
“More broadly, the events of 2012 have revealed weaknesses in South Africa's collective bargaining system. Government, business, and labour have agreed to work together to strengthen the system of labour relations.” - Sapa