Zuma: Strikes are normal, violence problematic

The president has condemned the violence and destruction of property seen during strikes.

President Jacob Zuma speaks at a New Age Business Breakfast. Picture: GCIS.

MIDRAND - President Jacob Zuma on Thursday condemned the violence and destruction of property caused during strikes countrywide.

Zuma was addressing a New Age Business Breakfast in Midrand.

He said while it was the constitutional right for workers to strike, the rights of others should not be infringed.

The president said the mine strikes were receiving governments attention, but added that South Africans could not assume the country was any different to the rest of the world because of the numerous ongoing strikes.

He said strikes were the norm in any global situation, but that the country needed to address the violent nature of labour protests.

Zuma said the truck, mine and planned municipal strikes had already affected the economy.

He said the Treasury had estimated a loss of R4.5 billion for the platinum industry, as well R180 million in the coal sector.

The president called for an amicable solution to end the labour strikes before South Africas economy is crippled.

In the three-week long truck drivers' strike, several violent attacks on working drivers and their vehicles have been reported nationwide.

It is hoped the incidents will decrease now that three, out of four, unions have agreed to abandon strike action.

Around 50 people have been killed during various mining strikes over the last two months. At least 46 people were killed in Marikana where Lonmin workers were on strike.