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Cabinet welcomes end to platinum strike

Cabinet says the five-month long industrial action has had a dire impact on workers & employers.

Mineworkers going back at work at Lonmin's Rowland shaft in Marikana on 25 June 2014. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Cabinet has welcomed the end of the country's longest-ever strike.

It says the five-month long strike in the platinum sector has had a dire impact on workers, employers and economy as a whole.

Communications Minister Faith Muthambi says the government will do all it can to prevent any such prolonged strike in future.

The action halted mines that normally account for 40 percent of global platinum output and hit the country's overall GDP, pushing it into contraction in the first quarter of the year.

Thousands of miners flocked to the Royal Bafokeng stadium near Rustenburg on 23 June 2014 to accept a wage agreement from platinum producers which ended South Africa's costliest and longest strike. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

It was also mentioned by ratings agency Standard & Poor's as one of the reasons South Africa's credit rating was downgraded.

Muthambi was briefing journalists at Parliament on the outcome of Wednesday's Cabinet meeting.

Watch: _Mine strike a victory for the working class? _

The communications minister says Cabinet did not specifically discuss the threatened strike by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) in the metals and engineering sector.

But she says Cabinet is appealing to employers and unions to resolve their differences speedily and to avoid any such lengthy strikes in the future.

"So on the issue of Numsa, this is definitely a call we are making as government and we are going to support all affected parties to make sure that strike doesn't take place."

Muthambi says Cabinet believes the success of government's development programmes depend on a stable and thriving economy.