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Truck strike violence slammed

As more people warn of the long-term impact of the strike, one man is counting his losses.

As more people warn of the long-term impact of the strike, one man is counting his losses.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has expressed concern about the long-term impact the truck drivers strike may have on the economy.

Zille says any form of violence is bad for the country and job creation.

She says the level of violence associated with strikes and service delivery protests are horrific.

People who have the resources to invest and start businesses have the choice of any place in the world to do so, and theyre not going to do so in a place that is marred by this kind of violence, she says.

About 29 trucks have been stoned and torched in Cape Townsince workers downed tools late last month.

Four unions went on strike calling for a 12 percent wage increase. Three of the unions involved - the Motor Transport Workers' Union (MTWU), the Professional Transport and Allied Workers' Union (PTAWU) and the Transport and Allied Workers' Union of South Africa (TAWUSA) have said they are ready to sign a two-year agreement which would see them receiving a 10 percent increase in the first year, and an eight percent increase in the second.

The largest union in the sector Satawu has remained firm on its stance for a 12 percent increase over the two years.

Cosatu's Western Cape branch has also condemned the violence.

The trade union federations provincial leader Tony Ehrenreich says the violence cannot be condoned.

Ehrenreich says: We believe that strikes must be conducted in a disciplined, peaceful way.

PROTECT FOREIGN INVESTMENT

Former Democratic Alliance leader Tony Leon says the country cannot afford to lose foreign investment.

South Africas former envoy to Argentina haswarned the current wave of industrial action can be seen as a red flag by investors who will be worried that it is not safe to do business in the country.

He says the strikes may also createdoubts about the country's ability to resolve labour disputes.

This unrest creates a number of questions. One is for government to take a decisive step, [but] its not a great moment to do it because everyone is looking after themselves on the road to [the ANCs elective conference in] Mangaung. The second [question] is where are the unions.

Meanwhile, the owner of a transport company says he has lost more than R1.5 million as a result of the ongoing strike.

Anthony Healy owns H&M Removals, whichis based in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.

He says apart from the damages to his vehicles the strike has generally been bad for business.

Healy adds they have had to implement contingency plans in order to do business.

Weve also had to turn customers away from a safety point of view. So with certain jobs that we had booked we werent prepared to send our staff and vehicles into some areas, and we obviously had to reimburse clients.

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