South Africa faces fresh strike wave

South Africa faced a strike wave across leading sectors of the economy yesterday, as the labour unrest threatened to hit its struggling gold industry, already squeezed by rising costs and falling bullion prices. Despite pleas from President Jacob Zuma and other government leaders for peaceful wage negotiations in Africa’s largest economy, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said its members in the construction sector would down tools from Monday. The NUM was also consulting its membership on a strike in the gold industry, which could start next week following an impasse in salary talks with mining companies. “We trust that working together, all parties will cooperate and see value in promoting lasting labour peace in our crucial mining sector,” Zuma said yesterday.