【英语财经】铂矿罢工导致南非经济缩水 South Africa contracts as platinum miners’ strike takes shine off economy

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2014-5-28 06:41

小艾摘要: South Africa’s economy has contracted for the first time since the global financial crisis of 2008-09 after mining production fell the most in nearly 50 years as a result of a crippling strike at the ...
South Africa contracts as platinum miners’ strike takes shine off economy
South Africa’s economy has contracted for the first time since the global financial crisis of 2008-09 after mining production fell the most in nearly 50 years as a result of a crippling strike at the world’s top platinum producers.

The worse than expected 0.6 per cent quarter-on-quarter decline in Africa’s most developed economy underlines the challenges facing the cabinet of president Jacob Zuma, which was sworn in on Monday.

The mining sector, once the heart of South Africa’s economy and still a key foreign exchange earner, has been battered by a four-month strike – the longest and costliest in the country’s history – over salaries and working conditions.

Mining and quarrying output shrank by nearly 25 per cent on an annualised basis in the first quarter, the biggest decrease since 1967 at the height of white rule, according to the country’s statistical office.

“It’s very worrying. There needs to be a lot of introspection,” said Thabi Leoka, economist at Renaissance Capital in South Africa.

The South African operations of the world’s three biggest platinum producers – Anglo American Platinum, Impala and Lonmin– have been hobbled since January 23 when the strike started. Platinum is the sector’s biggest employer. The companies say the strike has cost them R20bn ($1.9bn) in lost revenue, while the 70,000 strikers have lost R9bn in wages.

The industrial action has affected other areas of the economy, with thousands of contracts to suppliers providing goods and services to the mines suspended. As a result, manufacturing activity dropped 4.4 per cent in the first quarter.

自2008年到2009年的全球金融危机以来,南非经济首次出现收缩,原因是世界各大铂金生产商遭遇的严重罢工造成该国采矿业出现近50年最大幅度的产出下跌。

非洲最发达的经济体一季度环比缩水0.6%,逊于预期。对于周一刚刚宣誓就职的南非总统雅各布?祖玛(Jacob Zuma)来说,这一数字凸显出他的内阁面临巨大挑战。

采矿业曾是南非经济的核心产业,目前仍是南非的重要外汇收入来源。然而该行业遭遇了持续四个月的罢工,焦点是工资收入和工作条件问题,这是南非历史上延续时间最长、代价最为高昂的罢工。

南非统计局数据显示,今年一季度采矿及采石业产出在年化基础上收缩近25%,这是自1967年(当时还是白人统治的鼎盛时期)以来的最大跌幅。

晋新资本(Renaissance Capital)南非经济学家萨比?列奥卡(Thabi Leoka)表示:“这种状况非常令人担忧。对此必须进行大量反思。”

自1月23日罢工爆发以来,世界三大铂金生产商——英美铂金公司(Anglo American Platinum)、因帕拉铂金(Impala Platinum)及Lonmin的南非运营受到重创。铂金生产商是南非采矿业的最大雇主。这些企业表示,罢工令他们的收入损失了200亿兰特(合19亿美元),而7万名罢工人员则损失了90亿兰特的薪水。

这场罢工已对南非经济的其他领域产生了影响,数千份供应商合同被迫中止,这些供应商为矿山提供各种产品和服务。其结果是,南非一季度制造业活动收缩了4.4%。

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