Explaining The 'Revolting' Labor Conditions In South Africa

It seems a week does not go by without some kind of violent (or non-violent) protest against conditions in the mining industry in South Africa. Only this week we had the Amplats-related platinum spike, but it appears the split between the private and public sector has become not just better known but unsustainably massive in the last few years. In what will likely set off another riot, Bloomberg notes that salaries for public servants have increased an average 14% annually since 2007 versus a 2.7% rise in the period for all-industry (es Agriculture) in the private sector. All this as CPI rose 6.3% annually on average. As one analyst noted "it is not sustainable," but it appears Pravin Gordhan - South Africa's FinMin - is apparently unlikely to meet a pledge to limit government salary increases to 5% - to help narrow the budget deficit (as GDP is expected to grow 4.8%). This government largesse appears to be 'revolting' - and is certainly fueling the fire across the nation's labor force.



Source: Bloomberg Chart of the Day


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