Apart from the long term effects on the economy that will no doubt touch all of our lives (mostly the poor), I have been affected personally by both strikes. I did some work in Rustenburg where AMCU was striking in January and I haven't received a cent. Rustenburg is broke. This week, I worked for an engineering company which was operating with skeleton staff, mostly Zimbabweans. The owner of the company told me that we should look out for groups of people as his Zimbabwean staff had been threatened. At the time, I must admit, I thought he was just being paranoid, until I saw this video today:
NUMSA strikers vandalize a factory
In a country with a declining economy and 50% unemployment, I just can't get my head around the logic (or lack of) of these unions and strikers. I'd be grateful that I had a job. But, of course, in any decent, prosperous, first world country, unions have an important role to play. Workers should obviously not be exploited. In this circus of a country though, if you're not striking with them, they'll fucking kill you. And this is exactly what happened in the video above. They were walking around the industrial area, looking for people who were working.
Just like in the good old days of Apartheid when the ANC used to stick tyres around black people's necks, fill them with kerosene and set them alight if they had the slightest inkling that the condemned were not on their side, the unions continue to do this to this day. We are not moving past a point where our country can begin to prosper and I doubt that we ever will if this mentality continues.
The NUMSA strike is affecting almost every industry in South Africa. A lot of my suppliers can't tell me when they'll have stock again. BMW and Ford as well as General Motors have threatened to pull out of the country. And what was NUMSA's reply? "So leave then"... Great, so now you have FOKOL job.
And the ANC?
Well, our esteemed Labour Minister, Mildred Oliphant (you'd change that surname, wouldn't you?) reckons all parties have demonstrated an "encouraging commitment and maturity in finding a settlement." Sure as shit doesn't look like it when you see the above video.
"Moody’s Investors Service said last week the nation’s credit rating may be at risk because of the walkout, which follows a five-month platinum mining strike that caused the economy to contract in the first quarter."
But hey, who needs foreign investment, right? Those imperialist racists in the West can keep the money they stole from Africa to themselves, right? We'll sell our shit to... Uhm. Yes, my dear fellow citizens, you need someone to actually BUY the stuff you are digging out of the soil or assembling or welding. If your prices are too high, they will go and find somewhere else to dig, assemble and weld. It's time that these idiots realize that they are not special. They may have been the 'special needs' child in the 80's when everyone in the world ganged up on the 'evil whites', but today they are of no significance, especially not to people who want MONEY. They don't give a shit if you struggled. They don't give a shit if your nation spawned the great Saint Mandela™. They want profit and they've got the money. And if someone's got the money, you bend down and drop your pants. I run my own business and I've got to drop my pants. You always work for someone else. There's always a boss whether he's white, brown or yellow. It's time they get that into their thick skulls and attempt to grow up.
So what happens after a 5 month long strike? Well, exactly what everybody with an ounce of intelligence told them before they even started striking. The mines will either scale down, close or mechanize. THIS IS 2014, WE DON'T NEED PEOPLE WITH JACKHAMMERS IN MINES ANYMORE. Can you dig that? They are lucky to have jobs because the government forces every large business to employ as many useless people as possible. That is why we did so well in the Global Competitiveness Index in 2013 with regards to labour:
I hope that the platinum mines close. And I hope that the big car manufacturers leave South Africa. Because we'll find a way to make money out of their stupidity.