Zuma calls for end to wage disputes

He also criticised violence in the mining sector.

President Jacob Zuma delivering the Presidency Budget vote in the National Assembly on 12 June 2013. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - President Jacob Zuma has appealed to business and labour to conclude wage talks speedily and peacefully.

Zuma spoke about the state of the economy while delivering his budget vote speech in Parliament on Wednesday.

He warned the slower than expected growth in the economy could impact on job creation and said problems in the mining sector are only aggravating the country's economic woes.

The president criticised the deadly violence that's accompanied the dispute between rival unions the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).

He said he remains hopeful the team led by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe will succeed in stabilising the troubled mining sector.

Zuma also stressed his government doesn't favour any unions in particular.

It follows criticism that the ANC-led government backed the NUM over Amcu because of its affiliation with the Congress of South African Trade Unions.

Zuma warned little can be done about the impact on the economy of the global economic problems but said South Africa's deadly labour disputes aren't helping.

"We can't be the ones who undermine our own economy as various stakeholders."

Zuma also defended the National Development Plan, saying there may be differences on the detail, but that this isn't a crisis.