Business leaders to freeze salaries

Busa said the freezing of salaries for business leaders is in solidarity with poor people.

South African currency. Picture: Taurai Maduna/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Business Unity South Africa (Busa) on Monday said business leaders will be asked to freeze their salaries for the next year to show sensitivity to the plight of workers.

This suggestion follows a meeting with President Jacob Zuma, which was attended by stakeholders, including the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the Black Business Council, to discuss the state of the economy.

This comes after ratings agency Standard and Poor's (S&P) downgraded South Africa's foreign currency credit rating to 'BBB' status last week.

The country's previous rating was 'BBB+'.

At the meeting, officials declared that the local economy is in crisis.

Business leaders came under criticism because they continue to get big bonuses in a time of economic hardship.

Busa president Jabu Mabuza said, "We hope, at the very least, that [the decision to freeze salaries] will be a show of symbolism and that we are all going through a period of difficulties.

"We are all prepared to show some restraint."

S&P said political instability and the wave of illegal strikes in the mining sector should be a cause of concern for investors.