Transnet strike costing SA a lot

By Staff Writer
The ongoing strike by South African Transport and Allied Workers union is not only affecting South Africa's economy, it's having an impact on neighbouring countries too.

Botswana's petroleum product supply has been severely affected by the strike with fears from some stations that they might run out of fuel should the strike continue.


A statement by the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources said that the delivery of fuel from Tralton Oil Depot in Johannesburg has stopped. The depot supplies Botswana with as much as 650 million litres of petroleum per annum.

The country uses about 850 million litres of petroleum products every year and the majority of it comes from South Africa.

"The country is experiencing a daily shortfall of over 1 million litres in its fuel needs," minister Ponatshego Kedikilwe said in a statement.

"Total supply available is estimated at about 1 million litres per day compared to the demand of 2.5 million litres per day."

Exports of metals, fruit and wine to Europe and Asia have also been impacted while imports of automotive parts have also been affected.

Economists have predicted that South Africa could lose as much as R15 billion because of the strike and, couple this with the estimated R30 million's worth of damages caused by strikers and it's quite clear that the cost of a strike is incredibly pricey.

The unions and Transnet have reportedly reached a deal over wages and, if this is agreed to by members, the strike could come to an end on Friday.

"We've been sitting right through the night. There is a settlement agreement that we are going to take to our members. The details of that I cannot disclose at this stage," George Strauss, president of the United Transport and Allied Trade Union (Utatu) said.

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