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Ramaphosa: Misconception about causes of SA's economic instability

Ramaphosa says workers and their unions are not the only ones to blame for the country's economic woes.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says workers and their unions are not the only ones to blame for the country's economic woes and before calls are made to change labour laws, better communication is required between the main players.

Ramaphosa has addressed the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) Summit in Johannesburg which is being attended by business, labour and government leaders.

He called on all parties to resolve their differences through continuous negotiation and refrain from taking adversarial positions as this hinders progress.

The deputy president said there is a misconception about the causes of economic instability in the country.

"While the challenges in our labour market are significant, we should be careful not to ascribe our weak economic performance primarily to labour market issues only."

He said labour laws are not to blame for the trust deficit between key stakeholders.

"Workers want more wages and employers want more profits and the two need to sit down and work out a common vision."

Much of the instability has been blamed on protracted strikes but Ramaphosa said he has not changed his mind about the introduction of a strike ballot to measure support for work stoppages.

The reforms discussed at the Nedlac Summit are due to take effect from March next year but have already been opposed over fears that access to benefits may disappear.

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