Marikana has dented confidence in SA

The Marikana shooting in August and the industrial action which has followed in its wake, have dented confidence and lowered growth prospects for the remainder of the year, the Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan said.

The Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, presented by Gordhan in Parliament yesterday, shows the National Treasury estimates that about R10.1 billion worth of production has been lost to platinum and gold mining strikes and stoppages since the beginning of this year.

Declining mining output and the spread of strikes had also depressed manufacturing, logistics and services, and had impacted negatively on exports, employment, tax revenues and Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Following a sharp decline in platinum, the real value in mining contracted by 6.3% in the first half of 2012 compared with the same period last year.

In the year to August mining output fell by 3.3%, with production of platinum down by 15.3%.

Over the first eight months of the year, the value of exports of platinum fell by 21.9%, while exports of coal and chemical products remained robust.

Disruptions to platinum output affected trade with Germany, Japan and the US, while China’s higher demand for coal offset lower steel imports.

However, continued strong growth in iron ore, spurred by Chinese demand, had offset some of the decline in platinum, gold and coal. –