INTERVIEW-S.Africa strikes less harmful for economy than before-FinMin

Speaking on the sidelines of an economic conference in the Nigerian capital Abuja, Pravin Gordhan said he hoped the two sides would soon resolve their conflict, which has become South Africa’s biggest industrial dispute since the end of apartheid 20 years ago and has cut global platinum output by 40 percent.

“It’s unfortunate that we’re actually getting a continuation of the strikes rather than settling down,” Gordhan said.

“I don’t think it’s going to have as big an impact as it earlier had (in 2012),” he added. “The companies also have stock piles that they’ve been exporting, so it might be affecting production but not exports at this point in time.”

Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin are locked in a dispute with workers over wages.

They have lost 10.2 billion rand ($960 million) in revenue so far, while 4.5 billion rand in employee earnings have also been lost, according to an industry website.