'Working class debt needs to be addressed'

Trevor Manuel says SA's labour relations will likely worsen if working class debt isn't addressed.

Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel. Picture: GCIS

The former finance minister has spoken out against the practice of microlending by banks as well as loan sharks to whom employees in the mining industry in particular are highly indebted.

He says the National Credit Act should be secure enough to prevent loan sharks from capitalising on loopholes and lending money recklessly.

Manuel says until that happens, not much will change in the demands tabled by unions.

"Unless we focus on this, wage demands will continue to remain exceedingly high because people really can't make do with what they are earning."