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'Platinum strike affecting economy'

Economist Dawie Roodt says if there's no resolution soon things may take a turn for the worst.

Economist Dawie Roodt says if there's no resolution soon things may take a turn for the worst.

JOHANNESBURG - As the strike in the platinum sector drags on, economists say the country has been spared the full impact of the mass action because affected mines have had sufficient stockpiles of the precious metal to meet demand.

But they've warned the mass action cannot continue any longer as the economy is taking a knock.

Wage negotiations between Amplats, Lonmin, Implats and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) remain deadlocked.

The union is demanding a R12,500 salary over the next four years while employers are offering up to 9 percent.

Platinum producers have lost billions of rands since the strike began in January and economist Dawie Roodt says if there's no resolution soon things may take a turn for the worst.

"The South African economy will unfortunately be impacted in terms of economic growth and the weaker currency."

Meanwhile, Amplats assured Amcu workers that it is committed to finding a 'lasting solution'.

Amplats's Vishnu Pillay, who accepted the memorandum from Amcu workers, said last week the company wishes to re-enter negotiations with union leaders to end the strike as soon as possible.