Johannesburg -South African Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus said on Tuesday she remained concerned about the impact of strikes on Africa's largest economy, although she welcomed the fact that labour unrest this year had been largely peaceful.
South Africa was rocked by waves of wildcat strikes last year, particularly in the mining industry, that left scores of people dead and severely weakened foreign investor confidence in the country.
“While we remain concerned about the effects of strike action on the economy, we are encouraged that, whereas 2012 was marred by a series of unprocedural and violent strikes, so far the strikes in 2013 have largely been peaceful and legal,” Marcus said in a speech posted on the bank's website.
Strikes in the gold industry this year lasted just three days, although the above-inflation wage agreement is expected to cost companies an additional R1.5-billion in extra costs.
Workers are currently striking at Anglo American Platinum, the world's top platinum producer, in protest at job cuts.
A strike lasting weeks in the auto parts sector, making it difficult for auto makers to build cars, is still going on.
Marcus also said there was a perception that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) applied rules inconsistently to developing and advanced economies.
“South Africa, like most other countries, is a member of the IMF, and it is in our collective interest for this body to be credible, strong and responsive,” she said, addressing a group of diplomats in Pretoria. - Reuters