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Economist’s Views on Transnet Strike

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By Lee-Yandra Paulsen

The organised labour at Transnet is in a very powerful position, for various reasons one being that some of them are indirectly involved in government. As COSATU is part of the tripartite alliance.

This is according to Dawie Roodt an economist, who was a guest on Friday morning’s VOC Breakfast. He spoke about the impact the Transnet strike has on the South African economy.

“They are in a very powerful position so if they should decide to stop working, they basically sabotage the economy,” he said.

The reason for the strike is simply that they want more money. They will probably settle for about a 7% increase, which is not far from the current offer. The worker should know that for every week they strike they will roughly lose 2% of their annual wage. The strike has been going on for a week or so and it doesn’t make sense to still be striking because, they’ve already lost 2% of their annual wages, stated Roodt.

He said, Transnet calls itself a company, but they aren’t they belong to the state. For the past 2 years, millions of jobs were lost in the private sector. When the private sector gets into trouble and gets an unrealistic demand for a wage increase, the company goes into liquidation or business rescue and people lose their jobs, yet many civil servants have not lost their jobs. Transnet is a bankrupt state-owned company and bankrupt companies should not have the ability to give increases.

“I think they will come to a sort of conclusion, and we will again get a semi-functioning Transnet because it is semi-functional. It’s been damaged before the strike. The people are stealing everything the copper wires and railway tracks. It wasn’t working previously so they will go back to work and again it won’t work properly,” said Roodt.

According to him, Transnet like other state-owned enterprises will not be fixed, there are so many turnaround plans but these plans never work.

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