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Numsa: Wage talks to resume tomorrow

More than 200,000 affiliated to the metalworkers union have gone on strike for a 12% wage hike.

Numsa March for better wages. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) says wage talks with employers in the engineering and metals sectors will resume on Thursday.

The strike by more than 200,000 union members has entered its second day, with demands including the banning of labour brokers, a salary hike of 12 percent and a housing allowance of R1,000.

But as the metalworkers union urges its members to conduct the strike in a peaceful manner, sporadic incidents of vandalism and intimidation are still being reported.

The strike on Tuesday was marred by regular clashes with police and vandalism of public property and this morning rocks were apparently thrown through the window of a steel company in Brakpan, Johannesburg.

Numsa President Andrew Chirwa says, "You must also talk about employers themselves being provocateurs, intimidating workers, threatening that they will be dismissed, making it very difficult for workers to picket."

Meanwhile, employers have offered an increase of between seven and eight percent.

But striking workers told Eyewitness News that in light of commodity price increases, they aren't willing to settle for anything less than 12 percent.

Watch: Thousands join nationwide Numsa strike

FINANCIAL IMPACT

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has warned the strike could have serious consequences for the country's ailing economy.

The minister said strikes curtail tax collection due to ripple effects on tax payers in other sectors.

He said it's going to take a significant effort to repair South Africa's weaker economy following the recent platinum strike.

Nene argued the crippling effects of Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union's mining strike largely overshadowed growth attempts in other sectors.

The finance minister said he hoped for a quick resolution to the strike as the country prepared to stimulate economic growth

Watch: JHB Numsa strike in pictures

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