Soaring food and fuel prices hit South Africans at a time of rising unemployment. Some analysts put the joblessness figure at up to 40 percent.
A national strike left South Africa’s streets largely deserted Wednesday as 2 million people refused to work in protest of soaring food and fuel prices. The action, led by a coalition of trade unions, was symbolic and precautionary, suggesting additional strikes if the government and business remained inept at managing the national economy.
The South African mining industry came to a virtual halt today as trade unions called one of the largest strikes of the post-apartheid era.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has mobilised its two million members to take action in protest at the spiralling cost of living.
Many companies said the strike would shut down some or all or some of their production capacity.
Although refineries, car and textile manufacturing and construction work for the 2010 World Cup have also been affected, the mining sector—the backbone of the South African economy—is at the heart of the strike.