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'Mining strikes influenced rates decision'

Strikes in the mining sector could affect the already fragile investor sentiment, SARB says.

Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus. Picture: AFP.

PRETORIA - The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) on Thursday said South Africa's economic growth outlook has been affected by ongoing strikes in the mining sector.

South African Reserve Bank (SARB) Governor Gill Marcus announced the repo rate will remain unchanged at 5 percent.

This means the prime lending rate will stay put at 8.5 percent.

Marcus also warned domestic outlook could be negatively affected by the recent violence in Marikana.

"The domestic outlook is likely to be constrained by local developments, particularly in the mining sector. It has the potential to undermine the already fragile investor sentiment."

She said inflation could be influenced by high food and oil prices.

"Food and petrol prices are the main upside risks to the inflationary outlook. Following a sharp spike in July, global grain prices stabilised and then moderated, but remained at elevated levels."

Marcus said South Africans can expect another petrol price hike in October.

"Since August, the price of petrol has increased an accumulative R1,15 per litre and a further increase is expected in October."